Despite a possible delay to their introduction brokers are being urged to continue with their plans to create alternative business structures.
It is expected that many brokers will seize the opportunity, given by the Legal Services Act, to create an ABS, which allows businesses outside of the legal sector to offer legal services, licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The SRA licensing provision is subject to parliamentary sanction but concerns emerged last week, from the Legal Services Board, that the time needed to gain approval could cause the timetable to be delayed past 6th October. This could give some firms some much needed time to accept potential changes and understand what these will mean to your firm.
Eddie Goldsmith, Partner at Goldsmith Williams, says that “any adjournment will only be short lived and that brokers should not scale back their preparations”.
“For a number of organisations, the seeds of ABS have not only been sown, they have already begun to develop roots. Brokers need to match this commitment and not be distracted by possible delays.
If there is a deferral, it will be measured in weeks or months rather than years and it will certainly not frustrate the long term ambitions of firms such as The Co-Operative or Tesco, which have already declared their interest.
Even Google is considering a mortgage comparison site, which could mark the first step in the Googlisation of the mortgage industry.
Brokers should not become complacent or believe this meteoric change will not happen. Instead, they should use this extra time to iron out their strategies and make sure they are ready when the revolution arrives”.
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