There are many panel managers who allocate work to law firms. Some conduct law firm probity checks by way of reviewing credit ratings, insurance etc. Those panel managers have an important role to play. But what about the quality of the work?
Law firms are not risk-managed equally when it comes to identifying potential frauds and complying with Lender instructions.
Do lenders continue to believe that CQS are auditing files ensuring quality and managing risk exposure?
Whist some panel managers do, for example, check that charges have been registered, they do not conduct a 360 degree overview of panel firms' operations by reviewing complete files. Lexsure are the only Lender Compliance Audit specialists providing objective and forensic analysis in the following areas:
- Disclosures (or lack of) that may have impacted the decision to lend
- Breaches of the Part 1 and Part 2 of UKF Handbook instructions
- AML compliance (both in terms of ID and source of funds)
- Fraud prevention procedures
- Key date/centralised diarisation systems to ensure post completion deadlines are met
- Quality of due diligence and assessment of enquiries raised to protect lender’s interests
- Protocols to check for changes in P2 instructions prior to submission of the COT
Lexsure has consulted with lenders on a individual basis building additional checks depending on their own specific requirements. This is sometimes born out of issues that lenders have previously encountered.
The panel management problem that surfaced in 2008 has not gone away. The historic increase in property prices has masked the quality of conveyancing and breaches of instructions. An inevitable increase in repossessions combined with the major issue of fraud prevention means that lender panel management will soon be back on the radar. The value of a ‘quality badge’ back in 2008 will certainly be tested. Chances are that the FCA will apply pressure on lenders to adopt greater control of their panels and focus on ‘file quality’.
Quality and compliance assessments can not be done without file audits.
Self-certification, ‘desktop’ calculations, and remote data analysis will not yield the same level of accuracy. It requires feet on the ground. A proper physical analysis of the files. It may not sound very ‘2023’ but it’s the only sure way to check the quality of work and compliance.
Furthermore, Lender Compliance Audits create a level playing field. It should not matter whether a lawyer conducts conveyancing and family work or only conducts two cases a year. It is entirely possible that the particular law firm and may score a lot better than a so called ‘conveyancing specialist’. The proof is in an objective audit.
If you agree please contact us via the form below and we will arrange call to discuss our audit service in more detail as well as our availability