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HSBC Changes Solicitor Rules

12th January 2012

Following a startling report from the National Fraud Authority, which estimates scams cost the mortgage industry around £1bn per year, HSBC has unveiled a ‘solicitors panel’ of 43 legal firms that customers can use for their new home’s conveyancing with the bank’s approval. Potential buyers will now face additional charges if they decide to use a firm which does not form part of the group.

Although the announcement may create more solicitor jobs within the approved firms, there is some concern about of the move’s potential consequences. Chief Executive of the Law Society, Desmond Hudson, has stated his belief that the relatively small number of firms involved may not be able to provide an adequate service to all of HSBC’s customers.

HSBC, however, have strongly defended the decision. Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at the bank, explained how going through an approved solicitor should save the homebuyer money and guarantee consistently high service levels.