Law Society comments on Lender Exchange

The Law Society has issued a message to firms that have been contacted by Santander regarding application to the Lender Exchange Scheme.

Created with the support of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which has had a small oversight role, the scheme is due to go live in the beginning of 2014 and so far Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and RBS have signed up to its launch, although other lenders are said to be likely to sign up.

Following the rise in mortgage fraud that prompted major policy changes surrounding lender panels, the Lender Exchange Scheme was set up to provide a centralised portal where law firms can submit their details when applying for panel membership with participating lenders.

Santander has now begun its transition from its current system to the Lender Exchange Scheme and sent an email out to law firms instructing them to follow steps in-line with the move.

However, with the details of many elements yet to be fully explained by the private company Decision First that is running the scheme, the Law Society has asked Santander for clarification on what signing up to the scheme will mean for law firms.

Desmond Hudson, Chief Executive of the Law Society, said in his message to members: ‘we are aware that firms will not wish to jeopardise their position on the panel, but equally do not have details of what the transition process looks like, the terms and conditions under which Lender Exchange will operate or any details of how security of data will be managed.’

He carried on to say that the Law Society is: ‘seeking urgent clarification regarding Santander’s request and precisely what firms will have committed to if they follow the steps requested in the email.’

Mr. Hudson also said that the Law Society is seeking a meeting with Decision First to discuss: ‘the broader issues regarding Terms and Conditions.’ Those affected can expect to be contacted as a matter of urgency regarding the outcome of the Law Society’s queries.

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