Lender Exchange portal continuing to grow
Despite the release not going as planned, the Lender Exchange portal hosted by Decision First, has already received over 2,700 law firm sign ups to the new system.
The Lender Exchange is a portal that holds information on conveyancing panel firms, which can then be accessed by mortgage lenders. This is designed to strengthen the link between lenders and conveyancers and lead to a more streamlined home buying process.
Practices are asked to pay an administration fee on registering to the Lender Exchange, and this amount depends on factors such as the size of the firm. Prices start at £285 (+VAT) for sole practitioners and will range up to a maximum of £995 (+VAT) for partner firms with more than 50 employees.
Plans were initially to launch the portal in early 2014, however registration was only recently opened due to continuing negotiations between The Law Society and Decision First over the inclusion of Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) data. Allegedly, if firms are given the opportunity to renew their CQS membership within Lender Exchange, it has the potential to save The Law Society thousands of pounds.
The Law Society say they are having to rethink the terms and conditions set out for the portal, which include the enhancement of data protection provisions for practices that sign up.
Managing Director of Decision First, Justin Parkinson, is hoping to have many more registrations in the near future, as this will allow the company to give access to the information needed by current partners Lloyds Banking Group and Santander. He is also expecting the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HSBC to join them soon; and Coventry Building Society, Paragon and TSB are already due to join in early 2015.
"The more lenders we have on board, the more value there will be for law firms," says Parkinson.
The inclusion of more advanced features, such as the HSBC messaging service, can further enhance the service offering. Parkinson concludes by saying, "I want to build in more and more features, so this is something law firms can get real value out of."