Hopefully you’ve already done all your exchanges and completions, or any stragglers are certain for today. How was 2012 for you?
As we pack up for Christmas we thought that we should quickly remind ourselves of some of the key events of 2012.
Looking back at nearly 700 articles we have published this year, we are reminded that 2012 was the year of the start of alternative business structures. Whilst My Home Move were the first ABS to be announced as yet very little real impact has been seen on the market, despite Runnett and Co being acquired by the ex-corporate estate agent Harry Hill through his In-Deed business.
More importantly the June 2011 FSA thematic review on mortgage fraud led to HSBC seeking to dramatically reduce its panel size causing widespread campaigns and dissatisfaction. Whether it was the HSBC customers themselves, Des Hudson battering HSBC on Moneybox or the Bold Groups poster campaign and Rob Hailstone’s threat to issue a campaign song to the tune YMCA, the collective noise and lobbying ultimately resulted in HSBC backed down.
For once conveyancers weren’t for a moment unable to influence the market around them.
More flood searches were sold as the year moved from drought to flood.
It was also a year for all change at the top of the CLC with June Mulroy replacing Victor Olowe in February as interim Chief Executive of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. She will ultimately stand down in January 2013 when Sheila Kumar will take up the role.
The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme thrived with the just over 1000 firms in the trusted community in December 2011 becoming over 2012 by the end of the year. This was largely helped by the support for CQS from Santander and their indication that if you are not CQS accredited, or at least a long way down the application process, you won’t be on the Santander panel next year.
Volumes of transactions also increased, though we won’t be able to make year on year comparisons until all the data is published by the Land Registry and HMRC.
Key cases of fraud by criminals purporting to be conveyancers also increased, with major cases reminding conveyancers that they should consider where they are sending money.
2012 was also a year when many firms gave up on conveyancing and left the market.
We will be covering our prediction for next year early in the New Year but want to thank all our readers and advertisers for their support during the year.
Have a Happy Christmas all.
Chris Harris, Editor, Today’s Conveyancer