Find an Approved Solicitor on the National Westminster Bank plc
Q and A’s regarding the National Westminster Bank Solicitor Panel
My wife and I are novices when it comes to buying a property. Within the last couple of days our conveyancer has forwarded the sale agreement to sign with a detailed report with a view to exchanging next week. National Westminster Bank have this afternoon contacted us to advise us that there is now an issue as our conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
When purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.
In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
Your property lawyers should contact National Westminster Bank and see if they can apply for membership of the National Westminster Bank conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable National Westminster Bank will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the National Westminster Bank conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
My conveyancer has identified a discrepancy when comparing the surveyor’s assumptions in National Westminster Bank’s valuation report and what is in the conveyancing documents. My solicitor informs me that as he is on the National Westminster Bank conveyancing panel he needs to ensure that the lender is happy with this discrepancy and is content go ahead. Is my lawyer’s stance right?
A precondition to being on the National Westminster Bank approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on National Westminster Bank) which do require that your lawyer disclose any incorrect assumptions in the lender’s valuation report and the legal papers. Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
Whilst your website is a good idea there are many lawyers listed near London on the National Westminster Bank conveyancing panel. It would be a lot more helpful if you could recommend a specific firm on the National Westminster Bank approved panel?
We do not recommend specific firms as the right firm for you depends on where your priorities lie. For example you may require a local firm with local knowledge or you might be looking for the low cost conveyancing. Before you appoint your lawyer we advise you to speak to two or three of the firms listed to gain comfort as to which one is right for you..
I am considering remortgaging my property does my lawyer need to be on the National Westminster Bank Solicitor panel?
In theory, you could use a solicitor that is not on National Westminster Bank conveyancing panel, but National Westminster Bank would require one of their panel solicitors to be instructed to act in their interests, and you'd have to pay for this - so most people instruct a panel solicitor. It's also easier, as otherwise you'd have to deal with two solicitors for the same transaction.
I previously instructed online conveyancers located in Bristol who are on the National Westminster Bank solicitor panel. They have just invoiced me a separate fee of £195 for the legal aspects of the National Westminster Bank mortgage. Is this an additional conveyancing fee specified by National Westminster Bank?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms and Conditions or Quote then yes your solicitors can charge a fee for this. This fee is not set by National Westminster Bank but by your lawyers. Some firms on the National Westminster Bank will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee but plenty of firms include it on their overall fee.
Completion of my remortgage has taken place with a loan from National Westminster Bank. Conveyancing was a necessary evil but I feel I should register my dissatisfaction about National Westminster Bank. Who do I contact should I wish to lodge a complaint?
All lenders have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the National Westminster Bank branches or the Customer Care Team at National Westminster Bank head office. We understand that complaints to National Westminster Bank are sorted out very quickly. If you feel that the matter is not resolved you can write to the
Financial Ombudsman Service at South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR who will take matters further.
At last I have had an offer on an apartment accepted, but there is a chain. The vendors have offered on somewhere, but not been accepted yet, and have viewings of other properties in the pipeline. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What should be my next step? When should I get the mortgage app going with National Westminster Bank?
It is usual to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (mortgage application is approx £1k, then survey/valuation, conveyancing search costs, etc). First you should check that your solicitor is on the National Westminster Bank conveyancing panel. As to the next stages this very much depends on the circumstances of your case, desire for this property and on the state of the market. In a hot mortgage some buyers would pally for the mortgage with National Westminster Bank and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.