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CML slams Scottish conveyancer ‘sep rep’ move

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  • 12/06/2013
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CML slams Scottish conveyancer ‘sep rep’ move
The Council of Mortgage Lenders has condemned the move by Scottish solicitors to introduce separate representation for lenders and borrowers.

Lawyers have argued ‘sep rep’ will address concerns about conflict of interest, lender panel and fraud issues.

CML director general Paul Smee said: “We did not ask the Law Society of Scotland to change its rules and I can think of many reasons why this is the wrong way forward. I do not understand why mandatory separation is in consumers’ interests.”

He questioned why solicitors were introducing the proposal ahead of a review into residential conveyancing: “Surely so fundamental a shift as the move to separate representation should not be contemplated in advance of this review?”

Commentators have warned that under the proposals, Scottish borrowers could see conveyancing fees double.

The Law Society of Scotland has acknowledged the move could result in increased costs but argued lenders were increasing pressure on solicitors and separate representation was a “crucial” debate.

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