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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Anger over CHAPS change that will force agents to open longer

The little-publicised extension of the CHAPS settlement day - taking the closure up to 6pm from next summer - has received fierce criticism from a removals expert who says it places a completely unreasonable burden on estate agents, removals and customers.

CHAPS - well-known to most estate agents as the payment system that transfers funds for house purchases - currently closes at 4.20pm but from an as-yet-undecided date next summer this will be extended by another 100 minutes. 

The Bank of England, which initiated the change, says the new closing time comes as a result of consultation with various parties. The Law Society has also welcomed the move saying it is “a useful and positive step that increases the likelihood of transactions being completed on the agreed date, and lessens the chances of home buyers not being able to move into their new property.”

However, it has been blasted by Matt Faizey of Midlands-based removal and storage company M & G Transport.

Faizey, a former board member of the British Association of Removers, has told Estate Agent Today that in his opinion many agency offices could have to stay open until 7pm to handle late key releases on clients’ completion days.

In a blog on his firm’s website he makes clear that he believes consumers will not benefit from the change either.

“I always knew that the conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors were way, way out of touch but this is plain ridiculous. I haven’t even started yet on what this means for our industry, but for now let us concentrate on the poor customers” writes Faizey. 

“The Bank of England and Law Society think it is reasonable to leave a family homeless for an entire afternoon and then have them move in to their new home, late into the evening, in the dark, after having been sat in their car for five hours? That is the implied belief in this change. The Law Society must think this is acceptable practice, because this change will extend this time, not shorten it. Way to go! WooHoo, you truly do act in the interests of your own kind customers don’t you?”

He goes on: “So, instead of actually concentrating on making the system better, and forcing transactions to start sooner, or perhaps creating a code of practice which movers and estate agents might have had a chance to consult on – No, instead it has been decided that the crap system needs more time to be even more crap.

“The solicitor who takes three hours to send funds, due to a lacksy daisy bad attitude, well, can now take four. Why fix the real problem when you can mask it? Why force a lazy feckless individual to start funds transfer at 09:30 when you can just extend the time available and leave it so they can do nothing until after lunch?”

The full blog raises an interesting and under-reported subject, and you can read it here.

  • Rob Hailstone

    There seems to be a huge amount of misunderstanding and naivety in this article. If EAT will allow me will, I respond in full in due course. There are a number of reasons why completions can take place late on a Friday. I have yet to meet a conveyancer who benefits in anyway by purposely delaying completion.

    icon

    Morning Rob, rarely take the time to comment on EA articles but the absurdity of this can only be exceeded by Lewis Carroll. There is a difference between purposely delaying completion and downright lackadaisical attitude. The antiquated system needs overhauling NOT extending!

     
  • icon

    Wonderful rant - sounds like I could have written it.

    Rob......your input is eagerly awaited.

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    I can see why it is upsetting for removers and solicitors, But makes very little difference to agents, most of us are open until 6/7pm anyway.

  • Fake Agent

    “So, instead of actually concentrating on making the system better, and forcing transactions to start sooner, or perhaps creating a code of practice which movers and estate agents might have had a chance to consult on – No, instead it has been decided that the crap system needs more time to be even more crap."

    “The solicitor who takes three hours to send funds, due to a lacksy daisy bad attitude, well, can now take four. Why fix the real problem when you can mask it? Why force a lazy feckless individual to start funds transfer at 09:30 when you can just extend the time available and leave it so they can do nothing until after lunch?”

    He's not holding back, is he? Blimey

  • Oliver Chapple

    Whilst I think the whole thing is mad and needs an overhaul and agree with the sentiment here, one thing to point out though for the consumer, is that mortgage lenders seem to take ages to settle and send Mortgage funds for a consumer to solicitors accounts. The mortgage can often take far too long to process and this has become worse with the additional questionnaire that consumers must fill in not only but also in parallel with other applications, thus the transfer is most likely to happen at the end of the day, so the 4.20pm cut off in business hours terms for processing on that basis is too early. For currency and trading accounts you often can't purchase large amount of currency before the open of the exchange at 8am the next day, as you could not transfer your money at close of play in a working week. To give you an example as an investor you might close your position at 5 and then want the funds available elsewhere for the 8am LSE opening. In conclusion Chaps cut off times are not entirely about the housing market which is some fraction of the 60 odd trillion Chaps transactions per year. Just saying!

    Jon  Tarrey

    Interesting perspective. Thanks.

     
  • Gavin Wall

    Most solicitors practices have their own chaps portal. this allows them to send funds directly without relying on the banks admin systems. The problem is that most firms have to stop sending money at 3.30pm so a chain can (and does) collapse if the funds have a way to go.
    I think it's very easy to blame the conveyancers for this but only when you have no relationship with them. We work with a good number of agents and each agent know exactly what is happening on each file. We take the time to get to know each other which makes a huge difference as we then work together to ensure our mutual clients get the best service. If you don't feel this way, it's time to change.

  • Rob Hailstone

    As promised, my article in response:

    https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/industry-views/2015/12/cmon-chaps-dont-be-faized

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