In the CML’s Annual Report 2010 it is stated that “Lenders and home buyers rely on conveyancers, but there have been mounting concerns about fraud and professional negligence”.
The majority of conveyancers are honest and provide a reliable service but, as with any profession, there will always be ‘cowboys’ who potentially ‘ruin’ the good name of conveyancers. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) report that many of the better firms are already associates of the CML and with measures to improve the quality and reliability of legal services being a high priority of the CML they have publicly backed the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The scheme, which was launched in October, is a bid to improve consumer confidence and raise standards across the industry.
There was also the re-launch of the Handbook, in December, which provides online instructions to all conveyancers acting on lenders’ behalf. There were a number of improvements, including:
– The option for lenders to update instructions
– A better help and search facility and more intuitive layout
The number and size of claims under Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) has made obtaining cover difficult for some firms of solicitors and whilst the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have made proposals to remove cover from financial institutions, including lenders, the CML argues that this does not address the problem of large numbers of conveyancing claims, commenting that: “reform of insurance arrangements may be necessary but should be matched by tighter regulatory control”.
The CML’s report says that the main lender concerns regarding conveyancing services are associated with Fraud and for this reason they have explored, throughout the year, a resolution to decrease the potential exposure of fraud through, amongst other things, a greater use of electronic transfer of funds directly between financial institutions.
The report was the last one that Michael Coogan would be making a contribution to and he commented:
“It is with mixed feelings that I pen my final contribution to a CML annual report, as I look forward to standing down from my role after nearly 15 years.” He continued:
“Thank you for your personal support over the years, and your support for the CML in 2010”
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