Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)

The Council for Mortgage Lenders is the trade association of residential mortgage lenders. Not all such lenders are members, but CML members account for around 95% of UK residential mortgage lending, including lenders, banks and building societies. Conveyancing Solicitors, Conveyancers, search companies and other organisations can be associate members.

The CML Lenders Handbook

Of particular importance to solicitors and house-buyers is the lenders handbook which is published by the CML. This contains the rules that Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers must follow when acting in connection with mortgages. The CML handbook is divided into 2 parts, part 1 referring to the general requirements and part 2 containing individual lender’s instructions requirements relating to specific circumstances.

The handbook sets out what property titles will be acceptable, lenders’ requirements as to what conveyancing searches will be required, and many other detailed provisions designed to ensure that lenders will get a good security.

Buyers will often find that their conveyancer has to refer some point to their lender for further instructions before a purchase can proceed, this being because the lawyer has a duty to comply with the handbook. (If a client objects to this, then the solicitor will have to return the mortgage instructions and cease acting for the lender. )

What does the Council for Mortgage Lenders do?

The aim of the CML is to foster a favourable operating environment in the UK housing and mortgage markets. It is the representative voice for the residential mortgage lending industry, and the central provider of economic, statistical, legal, research and other market information.

Note that the CML is not a statutory regulator of the industry or its members, and cannot deal with complaints about members.