The Law Society have estimated that approximately 2, 500 conveyancing solicitors firms have been removed from Lloyds Banking Group’s conveyancing panel.
In the last few weeks the banking group, which includes Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Birmingham Midshires, has reviewed its conveyancing panel membership to remove firms that have conducted a low volume of transactions in the past year.
High street conveyancing solicitors have claimed the new minimum volume threshold restricts client choice and gives an unfair advantage to bigger firms. It also means that smaller firms will have to charge more in conveyancing fees to some of their clients as they will have to cover the costs of the lender’s conveyancing fees.
Senior partner, Stephen Denham, at Guildford conveyancing firm Denhams, said: ‘The policy discriminates on the basis of size. The group is not seeking to weed out firms that have caused them problems in the past. It gives an unfair advantage to large volume firms, which are less convenient for clients than high street firms. ’
Law Society Spokesman Paul Marsh has advised that firms which have been removed from the panel should also promote to clients the advantages of having separate representation from the lender.