Solicitors at risk of breaching the code of conduct

The Law Society has recently raised an issue with Lloyds Banking Group regarding their requests for conveyancing panel members to provide client account information.  The Society say that the provision of client account information risks breaching client confidentiality and have advised that any firm being asked to provide a lender with client account information should not provide it.  Firms should, instead, contact the lender and advise them that they cannot breach the code of conduct, even if it were to put their panel membership at risk.  Firms should also alert the Law Society and get further advice by contacting its Practice Advice Service on 0870 6062522.
Lloyds Banking Group had embarked on a pilot programme of collecting information from their residential conveyancing panel members with part of the exercise being that they requested copies of solicitors’ client account statements.  As these invariably contain client details The Society has advised that providing these could risk breaching client confidentiality.  As a result of the Society’s intervention Lloyds Banking Group will no longer ask its conveyancing panel members to provide client account information.
A spokeswoman for the Group told the Gazette that the production of client account information was never mandatory.
She said:
‘We won’t proactively be asking firms for that information. It [the data collection exercise] is still a pilot and that is one of things that has been changed.’
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