Morton solicitors a member of the Bold Legal Group have gone public with their disappointment about being removed from the ING panel apparently, without notification and due to reasons beyond their control and which they feel are not a fair measure of their risk.
Martin Chater of Morton Solicitors says "We understand that lenders need to protect themselves following the FSA thematic review of mortgage fraud but we are disappointed that we have been removed from the ING panel without notice. We have been told that whilst it is open to any firm to apply to join their panel it is not worth us applying as, notwithstanding our CQS accreditation, we don’t complete more than 12 purchase transactions per month. This appears to be a grossly unfair to us and our loyal clients and excludes the majority of firms in the conveyancing market from acting for ING. Surely lenders should be using a better measure than just volume of cases? As a small firm offering a client focused personal service we do not wish to move into the low cost high volume market. "
Rob Hailstone of the Bold Legal Group said "This type of decision making by lenders is arbitrary and demonstrates why conveyancers should band together to try to protect themselves. Lenders should notify firms before they remove them, explain why they are going to remove them and set out their panel membership criteria. I will contact ING to see if this decision can be overturned. However, I would urge all conveyancers to join the Bold Legal Group to help us and our 200 member’s campaign against this type of behavior when and if necessary."
With a requirement that firms complete 12 transactions per month only 1400 firms in the country would be eligible to apply for ING panel status. This figure is slightly higher than the number of MacDonald’s outlets in the UK.
If you or your firm have had similar experiences with ING or other lenders please share them with us or Rob Hailstone."