Santander await solicitor CQS applications pre panel removals

Santander await solicitor CQS applications pre panel removals

Santander and the Law Society have indicated today that some solicitor conveyancers who are waiting for the CQS applications to be approved will not be removed from the Santander conveyancing panel on the 31st March deadline previously set.

If your firm is a solicitors practice and has not applied or are accredited for the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme by the end of this week you will be automatically removed from that panel.

Not all firms that have applied for CQS will remain on the panel.  A press release from The Law Society day states that “Any firm which submitted a fully completed application well in advance of the deadline, which is progressing smoothly, will remain on the Santander panel and can continue to take new instructions. (Any firm whose application is ultimately rejected will be removed from the panel).”

“Any firm which submits an application close to the deadline will be given ‘pending removal’ status. This means for the duration of the application assessment, the firm cannot take any new instructions but can continue pipeline cases (where instructions were received before 31 March 2013). If the firm is successfully awarded CQS accreditation, the firm will become a full member of the Santander panel and can take new instructions. There will be no panel application fee in this instance.”

Solicitor conveyancers who have applied but have not yet received confirmation of their CQS accreditation and who do not have a smoothly progressing application will receive a letter after Easter informing them that they have been removed.

The press release from The Law Society today focuses on negotiations between the Law Society and Santander so that some solicitor conveyancing firms will be able to continue acting on behalf of Santander while their CQS applications are awaiting a decision however many firms will lose their panel status at the end of this week.

Since Santander’s decision last year to require all solicitor panel firms in England and Wales to be CQS accredited, the Law Society and Santander have been working together to monitor progress and review the upcoming deadlines.

Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson said this agreement proves the worth of proactive dialogue with lenders and will help to further cement the CQS brand in the conveyancing community.

"We all know that the CQS application process is incredibly robust and we will not compromise on these high standards. We also know how important being on a lender panel is for firms’ livelihood.

"This agreement with Santander is a very positive development which will hopefully see more firms continue their relationship with Santander and its business."

Santander Financial Crime Manager, Tracey Carr said introducing an element of flexibility was the right move for the bank and demonstrated responding to the needs of firms and their clients to maintain their existing work flow and client relationships.

"We benefit from an open dialogue with the Law Society and together agreed that for both commercial and practical reasons, it was important to recognise the efforts of firms who have applied for their accreditation in a timely fashion and are just waiting for a decision.”

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