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Written by rosalind renshaw

Estate agents are advising people against using HSBC because of its decision to cut its conveyancing panel to just 42 firms, the Law Society has claimed.

HSBC made the controversial decision in January.

While customers can still choose their own solicitor for conveyancing, HSBC will always use a panel firm for its own legal work, thereby increasing costs for consumers and creating possible delays for those who choose their own firm.

In a letter to members, Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, says: “The society understands that a number of estate agents are beginning to associate HSBC mortgage customers with delays to the process, which threaten what are already delicate property chains.

“We are aware that some estate agents are advising caution to consumers who are considering an HSBC mortgage.”

The letter says many of its own members are highlighting to their clients the potential additional costs and delays, and as a result some clients are opting to go to another lender.

The Law Society says it is making headway with its campaign to alert borrowers to the consequences of the HSBC decision, with active lobbying of politicians and consumer groups.


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    from my experience all solicitors sit an exam into not giving a shit so i dont care.
    if this annoys you then tell my p.a. iam at lunch till 3pm

    • 26 March 2012 20:43 PM
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    Lee- You are not giving people Financial advice if you tell them their purchase will be delayed and could fall through as a result of the HSBC. You are helping them avoid spending money for some greedy bank to mess it up. If selling are you giving good advice going with a buyer using HSBC?? Can't be, if we have achoice of 2 buyers we advise our sellers take the other one.

    • 26 March 2012 17:00 PM
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    We had two sales that had HSBC involved, due to complete last Friday, and guess what ? they didnt complete!

    • 26 March 2012 10:03 AM
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    Tottally agree with all the comments made. However, are we allowed to tell buyers who to/not to use for lenders... from a legal popint of view, we are not FA's? Could we get a slap on the wrist for it?

    • 26 March 2012 09:28 AM
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    And the Abbey will chuck out applications if they can not issue an offer within 10 days of them staring the process. HOWEVER this is after they have done all their check and balance enquiries so it takes 2 months to get them to a position where they can issue the mortgage offer and if it is going to take them over the 10 day time slot the application gets rejected and you have to start all over again!

    What a bunch of wasters these organisations are and we as EA's get called sharks and crooks. I dont think so somehow.

    • 24 March 2012 13:18 PM
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    A total and utter shambles.

    Sales are falling through and chains being delayed months, because these tax-payer underwritten idiots have created such a mess.

    It's not just HSBC's conveyancing links that are at fault, their own internal processes are now snails pace. It is taking a minimum four weeks from the issue of memo of sale to instruct a surveyor / valuer.


    • 23 March 2012 15:46 PM
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    Yes Ray Evans knows its only a matter of time before the land of the rising sun takes us over.

    To be honest I can't wait - I love chinese food and cheap labour and electronic gadgets.

    I would go as far as to put my neck on the line and say that HSBC were a major contributing factor to the sub prime credit crisis (probably) and that they manipulated it for their own corporate greed (so I heard).

    Buying up banks to put your toxic debt into wasnt only just done in Iceland don't you know ;P

    • 23 March 2012 13:22 PM
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    I was advised by a buyer recentl;y that it will take 14 days for HSBC to instruct a solicitor!

    What on earth is going on?

    • 23 March 2012 10:19 AM
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    HSBC & their conveyancer panel are hopeless at the moment. We have had one fall through and three teetering because of their total incompetence this year

    They are ignorant, arrogant and don't care a damn.

    I am steering everyone away from HSBC.


    • 23 March 2012 10:16 AM
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    Other than money, the decision from HSBC makes no sense whatsoever.

    CPL are shocking. Forcing them upon their customers is bizarre.

    • 23 March 2012 09:51 AM
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    This article is SO relevant, I was about to contact watchdog - as a consumer. I have literally just exchanged on a property we were ready to move into a month ago or more - the delay - caused by HSBC on our buyers side. NO chain on any side - our intended property was empty and our buyers are renting. Our offer was accepted beginning of Jan. Seemed to take them two weeks to fax a confirmation/red tape letter on a price drop, they have just delayed our move by another week - I had to stop removals packing our house yesterday - as they wouldn't guarantee the money would be with the solicitors in time for completion - even though they had the request for the money ages ago, and have approved it... it's been a TOTAL nightmare. As a lettings agent myself with contacts for sales and landlords and tenants that buy property, I am now talking to anyone and everyone who is about to buy or sell, cautioning them against going with HSBC - or selling to anyone using them. If you are after a quick sale/purchase - forget it. If I had known this - I would have gone with the other buyers on the table - as I did have two offers over asking price at the time.

    • 23 March 2012 09:44 AM
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    HSBC = Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
    Fiendishly clever these people you know! ;>)

    • 23 March 2012 09:13 AM
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    HSBC have been a disaster, appointing their own conveyancing team (Countrywide) to act in one sale who continually "lost" emails and documents then demanded that the buyers solicitor guarantee the title which they wouldn't do -- they said it was Countrywides job to do that. Result was stalemate with buyer having to vacate rented house and make new mortgage application. Spent more time on this than anyother sale. Now told our teams do not on any circumstances allow buyers to take HSBC mortgage and if they insist must tell vendor sale unlikely to proceed. What is HSBCs motive for this? are they trying to skim some money off their select panel? but i guess they would call it their "admin" fee" to get around that !!

    • 23 March 2012 08:52 AM
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    I have had 3 cases with HSBC so far this year and each one has had me, the buyers and the owners all pulling our hair out. The only upside in each case was that there was no chain involved.

    Absolute nightmare EVERY time.

    • 23 March 2012 08:44 AM
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    I cannott recommend them either and in the cases I've had we have found he client an alternative lender

    HSBC do not even begin the conveyancing until a mortgage offer is out, they dictate completion which is a nightmare with chains and to top it all it's run by CPL

    buyers beware of HSBC trying to force you to use their hopeless conveyancers, you will make yourself very unattractive and be driven mad if someone will sell to you at all

    • 23 March 2012 07:37 AM
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    This is one of the best articles yet. HSBC are the very worst at processing mortgage applications, when a buyer says they are using them we try every which way to switch them to a lender who will lend! I cant rembember the last HSBC application that went through smoothly without any hitches, or can i 1995 i think.........

    • 23 March 2012 07:23 AM