Banks dictate which solicitors their mortgage customers can use
Santander today wrote to a number of local law firms advising them that they have been removed from their Residential Conveyancing Panel. The Lloyds Banking Group did the same thing 2 years ago. The banks say it is because the numbers of transactions small firms do are not enough to satisfy their criteria. They won’t tell us what the criteria are – they say that’s confidential information!
For A P Bassett Solicitors, the only law firm in the town of Lostwithiel, this means that we will no longer be able to act for clients wanting to buy a property with a mortgage from any of the main lenders such as Santander, Halifax or Cheltenham & Gloucester. The banks are not at all concerned that customers have to pass their own local solicitor and take their business to another firm in another town.
Like lots of other firms in small towns, we may never have enough transactions to meet the banks criteria, but that is the nature of small town business. Nevertheless, small as we are, with the number of conveyancing transactions that we have done, it does mean we have been a viable and successful small town business making a positive contribution to the local economy.
But we don’t give up because we believe that our country needs more small businesses to get this country back on it’s feet. We say less of the global and more of the local.
What do you the public say?
If you are affected by the banks decision, or would like to know more, we would love to hear from you.