The private bank no longer insists that solicitors must obtain a local authority search on standard remortgages. Instead it will rely on indemnity insurance.
Its next step will be to allow dual legal representation for straight forward remortgages and simple house purchase mortgages. A solicitor from Investec’s panel will be able to act for both the bank and the borrower.
Peter Izard (pictured), business development manager, Investec Private Bank, said: “We are looking at our whole remortgage opportunity. As a private bank we don’t currently allow dual representation. We insist on the client having their solicitor and of course us having our own.
“Unsurprisingly we do very complex and large loans and I think you would say that is only prudent [to use separate legal representation]. But historically remortgages in our opinion have still taken too long.”
The bank hopes to be able to offer dual representation by the end of the year. It will then look at ways to offer dual representation in more circumstances.
Loan sizes dropping
Talking about the wider mortgage market, Izard said Investec’s average loan size had decreased. The most active area of the high net worth market was now at the lower end.
He added: “People are saying, Brexit aside, I need to move. I have a family and I need to move up [the housing ladder]. They have Brexit fatigue.
“There is plenty of interest in the upper end of the market but a complete lack of stock.
“Most of our high net worth clients see as many opportunities in Brexit as they do downsides. They are more concerned about a Jeremy Corbyn government than the outcome of Brexit.”