Santander review Separate Representation policy

Santander review Separate Representation policy

Santander, as well as currently being the most talked about lender, do not seem to be flavour of the month with their panel members at the moment.
Conveyancers have only just finished discussing the recent introduction of a panel member fee and now Santander have sent out a letter announcing that they are changing their current policy on Separate Representation.
Fiona Conway, Head of Retail Sales Service Delivery, announced that the current policy of allowing non-panel firms acting for a borrower to nominate a Santander panel member to act for Santander would end with immediate effect.
Santander’s new policy is that borrowers wanting to instruct a non panel firm must advise them and Santander will choose a panel firm to represent them.
Lenders are significantly reducing panel membership and this change is likely to increase the vulnerability of Sole Practitioners.  I understand why some conveyancers may be unhappy but we have to look at the reason Santander are reviewing the policy:
Mortgage fraud reached a 22 year high in 2010 according to an article in the Independent last year.
Reducing the risk of falling victim to fraud.
Take into consideration the above points and, whether you are for or against Separate Representation, you would have to admit that it makes sense to put as many policies as you can in place to protect yourself.  What would you do in Santander’s position?
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