To: The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP
Big Banks Bad For Local Business
Separate Representation. This is where the lender has their own lawyer to protect their interests and the consumer has the right to choose the conveyancer of their choice.
The consumer must have the right to choose with whom they do business.
Currently the conveyancer would act for both the lender and the client. But now due to recent changes in the law, banks and supermarkets can sell legal services themselves. The banks have started to reduce the number of firms they will allow to act on mortgage work. If they can squeeze the law firms out of the High Street, the only competition they will have is amongst themselves.
HSBC sought to reduce the firms who could act on their mortgages to less than 50 law firms and licensed conveyancers nationwide. However the Law Society and other campaigners have managed to over turn that decision with a compromise. But still only less than half of the High Street law firms can do their work.
The Lloyds Banking Group and Santander have culled their panels and chosen the criteria to be the volume the work that a firm has done. That affects the small towns and High Street Law Firms who cannot compete on those terms against the cities and major towns.
Why is this important?
For three reasons:
1) It's important to the local economy of small towns especially rural towns that people shop for products and services local to where they live. The future of small towns and High Streets are dependent upon the success of independent local businesses and services.
2) It's important for the consumer to have the freedom to make their own choice.
3) Competition For the big corporates to hold the competition between themselves is restrictive practice. For competition you need more of the small and less of the big.
For more details see: http://banksbad4biz.wordpress.com/about/