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SRA slams CML call for tighter rules to curb fraud

The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Solicitors Regulation Authority are at loggerheads after the CML called for tighter regulation to combat solicitors’ involvement in mortgage fraud.

The CML says it does not believe the SRA’s principlebased approach to regulation will address lenders’ concerns or restore confidence in conveyancing services provided by solicitors.

The CML is calling for the SRA to undertake a comprehensive review of regulation of solicitors with the Government and the Legal Services Board.

The CML says: “We are concerned about the amount of fraud involving solicitors and the scale of professional negligence that has emerged in recent years.

“A comprehensive review is needed to ensure that the ind-ustry is effectively regulated in the future and that unscrupulous individuals and companies are prevented from causing detriment to clients.”

But a spokeswoman for the SRA insists that its approach is not light-touch but proportionate and customer-focused.

She says: “We want to encourage law firms to assess and tackle the risks themselves wherever possible but those who cannot or will not put things right will face tough action.”

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