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Mortgage lenders and brokers expected to offer clients a view on solicitor quality

  • 17/10/2018
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Mortgage lenders and brokers expected to offer clients a view on solicitor quality
Mortgage lenders and brokers that run a panel of conveyancers are expected to provide details about the quality of the conveyancing firm recommended to customers, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has said.


The conveyancing regulator noted that with more data being made available, customers should be given more choice in the firm they want to conduct their legal services when completing a mortgage.

Following guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to encourage consumer choice, conveyancing firms will be more open about the price, type and quality of services they provide.

And the CLC expects mortgage lenders and brokers to play their part in the process.

Speaking at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum seminar, The future for the home buying process, CLC director of strategy and external relations Stephen Ward said: “No matter how information is provided to a potential client about price, service and quality of a particular conveyancer, we expect that information to be available.

“So if it is available through a portal that the lender or broker or whoever operates, we would expect that information to be available then, so that can inform the consumer’s choice.”


Better informed customers

Discussing the transparency changes, Ward explained that better conveyancer information was going to change the home buying experience.

“We talk about it as people being better informed on the price, service and quality of conveyancing so they can better inform the choice of their conveyancer,” he said.

“It is difficult for law firms to set out what they do differently, what the client can expect to experience, how they will be serviced, what people will be like.

“[So] the service element is really important in helping the consumer understand what they are getting for their money.

“There are lots of services out there, like Trustpilot, which are available that can give customers a sense of what they can expect from a firm and what others have experienced and we’re encouraging firms to use those services,” he added.


Reasons for choosing

Matt Prior from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government echoed that improving the transparency of conveyancing services was critical.

“It is difficult for conveyancers to describe in a pithy small number of data points what a good service looks like, but that’s absolutely what they should be striving for,” he said.

“So consumers don’t say ‘I should go with them because they cost £250’, but choose the firm because they’ve got some really good reviews and they specialise in the type of property going to be bought.”


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