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Law Society slams Santander’s proposed costs on conveyancers as ‘unnacceptable’

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The Law Society has challenged Santander’s proposal to charge fees to existing members and new applicants of their conveyancing panel. The scheme will mean that existing members of the panel will be charged an annual fee of £99 plus VAT and any new members will have to pay an application fee of £199 plus VAT on top of the annual fee.

The Chief Executive of the Law Society Lorna Jack has already requested that the bank enter into ‘urgent talks’ with the society and has described the scheme as “an unnecessary cost burden on solicitors and their clients”.

According to a statement issued by Ms Jack in the Law Gazette she criticized the lack of consultation by Santander in relation to the charges and on the impact this could have on conveyancers and their clients. She stated “We have had a lot of communication with Santander over the past year in relation to panel matters so were surprised that we were not informed or consulted on this change.” She added that in the Society’s opinion the compliance charge is an attempt to recoup the operational costs from panel members and commented that “This is unacceptable and we believe such additional operational costs, which ultimately are passed on to the borrowers, should be done directly and transparently and not through the medium of agents”.

In defence of the scheme a spokeswoman for Santander claimed that it would increase efficiency in the panel system and minimise the number of firms being removed from the panel. She also stated that the bank would not be making any profit from the scheme.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

August 12, 2011 at 7:43 am

Posted in Comment, Compliance, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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