Head of Lending at HSBC responds to Law Society offer

The response letter to Des Hudson, Chief Executive of the Law Society, from Head of Lending at HSBC, Martin van der Heijden, does not appear to address any of the points mentioned in the original letter, although it does set out quite clearly the criteria for becoming an HSBC panel member.
With the customer in mind, HSBC is and always has been open to having constructive conversations with the various Law Societies. We recognise the pragmatic approach taken by The Law Society of Scotland which has resulted in Scottish lawyers and HSBC’s legal representatives being able to work harmoniously to deliver great service to Scottish homebuyers. We are also in close contact with the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Our door has always been open to Des Hudson.

Our primary concern is to provide choice to our mortgage customers and for them to benefit from an efficient conveyancing service. We welcome all Law Society CQS accredited firms onto the panel providing they can offer our customers the benefits we have introduced including competitive fixed fees, a no sale / no fee guarantee and electronic 24 hour case tracking.

In the interests of transparency I have listed below the key criteria for our panel, and any firm that meets the criteria, and will agree to work as a panel member to provide these customer benefits is welcome to apply.

HSBC Conveyancing Panel Criteria:

Principles that all firms must agree to:
Fixed fees and any accompanying service proposition guarantees. E.g. no-sale no legal fees
Establish electronic links with the panel manager to facilitate case allocation and case tracking
Achieve accreditation with the Law Society of England & Wales CQS (England & Wales solicitor firms only)
Agree to Solicitor Regulation Authority and CCJ checks

Mandatory requirements:
Registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC): and
Established as a partnership, limited liability partnership or any other corporate structure as agreed by HSBC with a minimum of four regulated principles (if SRA regulated) or four managers of a recognised body (if CLC regulated) or a minimum of four company directors; and
A minimum of two licensed conveyancers or qualified solicitors; and
The panel firm entity should have been actively trading in purchase and sale conveyancing for at least 6 months; and
Completed a minimum of 250 residential conveyancing transactions (excluding remortgages) over the previous two years on an ongoing basis;
PII cover of at least 2m

Firms wishing to apply should email the panel manager Countrywide Conveyancing Services at [email protected]
Do you think that the response letter is just glossing over the original points made by Des Hudson?
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