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Nationwide tightens conveyancing panel requirements

Nationwide has increased the requirements it places on conveyancers to remain on its panel, removing firms that complete less than one case a week.

The Law Society of Scotland says the move has led to 200 of the 700 Scottish conveyancing firms on Nationwide’s panel being removed in April. Conveyancers previously had to complete four cases a year.

The lender says it started removing low-volume firms at the start of the year but will not confirm how many firms have been struck off. The building society says the panel has between 3,500 and 4,000 firms.

Exclusion from the panel can be appealed if the firm is a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

A Nationwide spokeswoman says: “Exceptions are made for firms which meet a particular need on account of their locality or services.”

But the convener of the Law Society’s Property Law Committee Ross MacKay says: These new measures take little account of the Scottish jurisdiction.”

HSBC came under fire earlier this year when it allowed only 43 firms to act for both the borrower and the lender. HSBC later reversed this decision to allow all Law Society accredited solicitors on the panel.

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