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HSBC introduces conveyancing panel to assist mortgage customers

Customers who choose to use one of the panel firms will have the advantage of competitive fixed fees as well as benefiting from the speed, efficiency and consistent quality of service provided by the firms on the panel, the bank said.

Customers will continue to be free to use their own solicitor or conveyancer to act for them, but HSBC will use a panel firm to undertake its own legal requirements, it added.

Previously the customer's conveyancer has usually undertaken both parties' legal work. Should a customer choose a non panel firm this new process will separate the two pieces of legal work, however, as before, the customer will pay for both.

HSBC has selected Countrywide to manage the panel of solicitors and licensed conveyancers. If a customer elects to use a member of the panel, the bank will use the same firm.

Customers who choose to appoint a panel firm to act for them can take advantage of two additional benefits should their property purchase fall through.

Customers will not be charged for any legal work undertaken if the sale or purchase falls through. Customers will only be charged for external costs incurred to date, such as searches.

Also, if a customer paid for searches on a property that subsequently falls through, there will be no fees for the same searches on the next property if they find it within six months.

Other benefits for customers opting to use a panel firm include fixed fees, 24 hour updates seven days a week, and a managed service where the sale and/or purchase will be tracked to ensure the solicitor is carrying out the work in a timely manner.

‘Our new panel arrangement will spare customers the time and hassle of searching for a firm to do the important conveyancing work on their new property,’ said Peter Dockar, head of Mortgages at HSBC.

‘Customers who choose to use a firm on the panel can benefit from agreed conveyancing costs as well as valuable guarantees should the seller pull out. We also believe this will provide additional protection for our customers and HSBC,’ he added.