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Royal Bank of Scotland Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers

My husband and I are FTBs. Within the last couple of days our conveyancer has forwarded the sale agreement to sign with a detailed report in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Royal Bank of Scotland have this morning contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our conveyancer is not on their conveyancing panel. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property with the assistance 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 Royal Bank of Scotland and see if they can apply for membership of the Royal Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Royal Bank of Scotland will instruct their own solicitors to act. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Royal Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred lawyers, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.

I do hope you can help me. My lawyer is informing me me that he is legally obliged to apply for a Local Authority search stemming from the fact that the firm are on the Royal Bank of Scotland solicitor panel. Is my lawyer correct?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. As you are taking a mortgage with Royal Bank of Scotland your lawyer has to comply with their conditions as set out in their version of the CML Conveyancing Handbook. Your lawyer would have previously signed the Terms and Conditions of Royal Bank of Scotland’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Royal Bank of Scotland. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Is it necessary during the course of the conveyancing process to visit the offices of the Royal Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel solicitor to sign the mortgage deed? If so, I will appoint a lawyer who conducts conveyancing in London so that I can pop in to their offices if necessary.
Most conveyancing panel lawyers for Royal Bank of Scotland undertake all of the work via the post, internet or over the phone. This means that they can undertake your Conveyancing Transaction no matter where you live in England or Wales. However you should check if you can still book an appointment to go into appointed conveyancing lawyer if you prefer.
Can you clarify what the consequences are if my solicitor is expelled from the Royal Bank of Scotland Conveyancing panel in advance of the moving date as agreed at exchange of contracts?
The first thing to point out is that, this is very unlikely to happen. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have ti instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by the regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit for a fee.
Why might a lender such as Royal Bank of Scotland withdraw a mortgage offer?
Banks and Building Societies such as Royal Bank of Scotland can revoke their mortgage offer although this is unusual. If Royal Bank of Scotland withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to their reasoning. There are various possible reasons but here are 5 examples:
  • If the borrower informs Royal Bank of Scotland of a change in the loan amount agreed
  • Situations where information provided by the borrower that enabled the lender to make a lending decision is fraudulent, incorrect or misleading.
  • Where the lender has to take account a recent change in taxation
  • Where the Lender’s right to possession is fettered in some way
  • If the lender reasonably suspects that the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor is involved in any criminal or fraudulent activity, including trading in illegal drugs or other substances, theft, robbery, deception or other serious offences, or if the applicant borrower, mortgagor or guarantor has a conviction for any serious criminal offence, including theft, deception, fraud, robbery or trade in illegal drugs or other substances;
We expect to receive a DIP from Royal Bank of Scotland this week so we know how much we could potentially offer as otherwise we are dependent on web based calculators (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc).Do the Royal Bank of Scotland recommend a solicitor on the Royal Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel, or is it better to find our own lawyer
You will need to appoint solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Royal Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and the Royal Bank of Scotland through the process.
We have agreed a price on a flat I spoke to a conveyancer previously used by my dad and he advised using a property lawyers approved by Royal Bank of Scotland. The estate agent recommended two local firms so I asked Royal Bank of Scotland if the 2 suggested solicitors are approved, which they are not. Royal Bank of Scotland suggested that either practice can fill out the appropriate forms to become approved. Do I (1) save myself the aggravation and use one of Royal Bank of Scotland 's conveyancing panel solicitors (2) Use the local solicitor and accept there may be delays etc as they go through the approval process.
Ask Royal Bank of Scotland to suggest a law firm in your location. Most banks have lawyers on their panel throughout the UK. You can also use our search tool at the top of this page to search for a lawyer on the Royal Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel based on location. If you particularly like the sound of one of the local lawyers that you have spoken to ask them if they would go onto Royal Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel as it may only take about 2-3 weeks. As long as they meet Royal Bank of Scotland’s requirements it can be a very simple job for the solicitor. Other stuff will be going on in parallel (as you are at an early stage) so it may not delay matters.