Conveyancing panel provider LMS has launched a new anti-fraud tool called AccountChecker which they say will help prevent the misdirection of funds to bogus firms.
LMS say the service, which will be available at no additional cost, will rely directly on more than 5,000 bank account records that they have collated in developing PanelLink. In addition it forms part of the overall package LMS provides to its panel members, with other services including easy access to searches, indemnity insurance and customer identification packages.
Ian Robinson, Supplier Management Director at LMS, said: “This is one of a number of exciting enhancements from LMS due over the next 12 months. This is a service that law firms have been asking us to provide for a long time and our expertise added to our enhanced checking processes ensures this is a market-leading service now available to over 5,000 law firms.”
Andy Knee, Chief Executive of LMS, said: “Homeowners have been losing millions to fraud, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority has reported a rise in criminals looking to defraud the solicitor as well as the homebuyer. The conveyancing market landscape is dotted with thousands of firms, big and small, so it becomes quite a challenge to verify bank details of unknown lawyers. As tackling fraud becomes a top item on the industry’s agenda, we’re hoping more and more lawyers will benefit from the value of our free tool over the next few months.”
Meanwhile another anti-fraud service Safe Move Scheme have become associate members of the Conveyancing Association.
Safe Move Scheme are now able to attend select CA Management Committee Meetings (MCM) – which are attended by 25 of the most active CA members – and each All Member Meeting (AMM) which are attended by all CA members.
The other CA Affiliate members are currently Groundsure, PSG, Future Climate Info and Conveyancing Data Services; Converge TS; Howden Windsor; Dual Group; and Lawyer Checker.
Lloyd Davies, Operations Director at the Conveyancing Association, said: “We are very pleased to announce that our ninth Affiliate member, Safe Move Scheme, has joined the Association. A key work project for the CA this year is around fraud prevention and the measures conveyancing firms can put in place to de-risk their businesses in this area. The Safe Move Scheme team have already provided us with invaluable expertise and insight, and have been assisting us with our ongoing cyber protection and prevention campaign.
“We particularly welcome their support in this area and we are delighted to have them as formal Affiliate member partners. Next month we will be publishing our Cyber Crime Protocol and we believe our member firms will benefit greatly from these best practice standards and, with the added support of Safe Move Scheme, we can work towards ensuring we are fully protected when it comes to combating cyber fraudsters. We look forward to Safe Move Scheme taking a full part in the next stage of the CA’s development.”
Ed Powell, Director of BE Consultancy – the providers of the Safe Move Scheme, said: “We are delighted to be working with the CA management team and CA members to help conveyancers discharge their duty of care to protect their clients from fraud. Fraud is one of the largest threats on the conveyancing landscape and the CA are a leading stakeholder in tackling this serious issue.”