In response to Santander’s recent decision to cull small law firms from their conveyancing panels, we have decided to fight back because it’s not just about us, but the many communities law firms serve.
The Law Society’s Conveyance Quality Scheme (CQS) we think is a short term answer, because as more and more banks apply to become ABS and partner with conveyancing businesses that are tied in with national estate agents, they won’t want solicitors on their panels. Or to put it another way, the banks will not want us, their competitors on their panels. CQS accredited or not, a competitor is a competitor.
We have started a petition calling for Separate Representation. We are addressing it to The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable as Head of Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) because they say it is the Government’s top priority to ensure the success of small businesses, which are vital to the growth of our economy. The main ambition of BIS is to remove the barriers that prevent the growth of small businesses.
I don’t know about you, but we at A P Bassett Solicitors, we are a small business and the decision by the banks to remove small firms like us from their panels, is a barrier to our growth and consumer choice.
We have enlisted Christian Lister, a successful small business lobbyist to ensure we have maximum penetration in Westminster and he’s doing it for free!
This campaign comes at a time when trade organisations like R3 – The Association of Business Recovery Professionals in the UK are claiming research by R3 using data from Bureau van Dijk’s ‘Fame’ database, finds that over 2,000 law firms are at risk of failure in the next 12 months – this equates to 29.1% of firms in the UK and Ireland.
We have, very easily, managed to collect over 150 signatures from our local business community, social media contacts and clients. We are suggesting if 100 other law firms do the same, we hope very quickly to amass 15,000 signatures.
We think it is important to get the public behind us because this is also about consumer choice and as the MPs we have met with have said, it is an attack on the High Street.
4 easy steps to getting involved:
1) Get your local business community involved and invite the local press to run a story http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Banks-policy-harm-traders/story-16727971-detail/story.html
2) Canvass for signatures http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/big-banks-bad-for-local-business
3) Keep in touch firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you are doing, or if you want any support.
4) Follow the campaign on Twitter @banksbad4biz
United we must stand, divided we fall!
Joy and Paul Bassett