The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has criticised the announcement by the Law Society of Scotland to move to compulsory separate representation for lenders and buyers in all transactions.
At the Law Society of Scotland’s annual general meeting today, 58 solicitors voted to remove the current exception to Law Society conflict of interest rules, which permits a single solicitor to carry out work for a client wishing to buy a property and their mortgage lender. There were 27 against and three abstentions. Proxy votes were not cast.
The Law Society will now bring forward new practice rules for its members to vote on at a special general meeting (SGM) in September. If voted through at the SGM and subject to approval by the Lord President, solicitors will no longer be able to act for both buyer and lender.
CML director general Paul Smee said: “It is disappointing that a measure which is so blatantly against consumer interests and will impose added costs and added scope for confusion and delay has been voted through, with not even the pretence of wider consultation.
“At a time when housing and mortgage markets are still recovering, this is a protectionist measure with little regard for the interests of consumers.”