The bank will offer customers a number of incentives to use a firm from the panel, such as fixed legal fees and a guarantee that they will not be charged for any legal work undertaken if the sale falls through.
It says customers will still be free to use their own solicitor, but that it will use a firm for the panel to undertake its own legal requirements, and if a customer uses a firm outside the panel, the new process will separate the two pieces of legal work.
Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC, says: “Our new panel arrangement will spare customers the time and hassle of searching for a firm to do the important conveyancing work on their new property.
“Customers who choose to use a firm on the panel can benefit from agreed conveyancing costs as well as valuable guarantees should the seller pull out. We also believe this will provide additional protection for our customers and HSBC.”
Paul Creffield, corporate operations director at Countrywide, adds: “We are delighted to have been selected by HSBC to manage their conveyancing panel management operations.
“We have the scale to deliver bespoke in-house conveyancing solutions and welcome the opportunity to work with HSBC to safeguard its home buying mortgage customers and minimise any potential risk to the bank.”