What Is the Lender Exchange and How Does It Work?
The Lender Exchange is a highly secured web portal meant for use by legal firms. It’s intended to provide firms in the legal world with a mechanism they can use to trade information and data with lenders. This is in addition to helping them manage company conveyancing panels.
How Did the Lender Exchange Come to Be?
In the last 6 years, the Lender Exchange has been working together with building societies and banks intending to introduce services and products targeting conveyancers. The service offered goes a long way towards simplifying the lives of both lenders and conveyancers.
Fraud has become a serious issue in the UK, is an issue that persistently concerns many lawyers, bona fide law firms, and lenders. When these parties work together, it becomes easier for them to minimize the risks faced when dealing with panel related issues.
The Lender Exchange partners with many lenders to make the process of updating lenders and submitting panel membership applications fast, easier, and more cost-efficient. It seeks to help both law lenders and law firms alike.
Decision First is credited with designing the web portal. Its design is primarily aimed at solving the issue of groups of lenders seeking to get the same information from UK law firms. The information they intend to use in managing their conveyancing panels.
The web portal was officially launched in 2014. Its first users were Santander and Lloyds Banking Group. The two were later on followed by other lenders. Its introduction was aimed at reducing the risk faced by lenders.
It is believed that this portal will play a crucial role in the ongoing battle against fraud in the UK. Currently, it’s believed that fraud costs the UK economy as much as £50 billion a year, making it necessary to come up with inventive ways to curb its spread.
Decision First Limited
Decision First shareholders have a combined experience of more than 2 decades. The shareholders have spent a large chunk of their time in the industry designing and operating secure web-based portals.
These portals are used by major lenders in managing their panel application process. Their experience has helped lead to the design and development of the Lender Exchange portal. A portal expected to bring about much-needed efficiencies to all lenders and conveyancers.
Benefits of the Lender Exchange
Firms using the Lender Exchange portal can expect to receive the following benefits:
1. Reduced Administration
Lenders are increasingly looking for additional information and data, even as they hope to fully meet all the regulatory requirements surrounding due diligence. In many cases, the data sought by the lenders is similar. Law firms, therefore, end up spending a large chunk of their time trying to supply the lenders with the details they need.
For lenders, there’s a need for them to get access to current details on all the companies they are working with. This also involves getting to learn their practices as a way of ensuring that asset sales and acquisitions will proceed without a hitch. Last-minute requests involving the change of items such as client accounts are known to bring about major delays.
Delays come about when the lender takes their time to confirm that the change requests are, in fact, bona fide. Verification of the change request is necessary to assist in protecting the mortgage advance, as well as the client.
Lender Exchange assists in eliminating the need for lenders to be separately updated on such changes. In the process, the portal gets to eliminate or greatly reduce the administrative burden. The law firms and their personnel can, thus, shift their focus to tasks that will earn them some fees, while also addressing the needs of their clients.
2. Access to Up-to-date Documentation
It’s not uncommon for lenders to alter their standard mortgage documents every once in a while. Even with the changes, the lawyers should be in a position to find the documents with ease.
The Lender Exchange helps with this by making available a storage facility that lenders can use to upload and hold their latest standard mortgage documents. Lawyers, in turn, get to have an easy time whenever they need to find them for their clients.
3. Simple Fee Structure
Cost-efficiency is one of the primary benefits offered by the Lender Exchange. The fact that only one system needs to be updated means that legal firms get access to a more cost-effective solution. Additionally, the fees are charged based on the work undertaken by the Lender Exchange staff, as opposed to having to charge each lender separately.
The portal has successfully managed to streamline the due diligence costs by merging the lender’s needs. Their needs have been combined in terms of the information that is required. The savings made from this merger are then passed on to the customers which only get to pay a single annual fee.
4. Improved Communication
Communication is not only quick, thanks to social media (Twitter and Facebook) and the internet, but it has also become equally important. However, when it comes to addressing the needs of your suppliers and/or customers, it’s crucial that any exchange you have with them be well secured.
Keeping in line with this, the Lender Exchange provides its customers with a messaging facility that is both quick and secure. It’s a facility that makes it possible for law firms and lenders to discuss panel related matters conveniently and securely.
5. Continued Customer Choice
Companies lacking access to a system such as the one offered by Lender Exchange have to contend with increased administration costs. This is because the firms have no option but to invest in a panel of their own.
The Lender Exchange hopes to assist in managing these costs, as well as in reducing the burden for both law firms and lenders. Overall, it seeks to eliminate the risk of shrinking panel sizes or the need to introduce singular panel charges aimed at helping address its management fees.
It’s important to note that the web portal doesn’t get rid of individual lender costs. The lenders still get to personally run the panel decisions on their own. On the other hand, the portal assists in reducing the overhead costs associated with having to maintain up to date information.
This includes the costs of running a validation check by a lender. Such costs tend to become duplicated by lenders operating in today’s environment.
How Do Law Firms Apply to Be Placed on the Lender’s Panel?
Law firms can follow one of two distinct routes:
- Law Firms that Have Already Been Registered with Lender Exchange: Having logged into the portal, all the law firm personnel need to do is to find their way on to the Panels Screen. From here, they will need to choose the lender they are interested in by clicking on the checkbox. Once the applicant has confirmed that all the information is in order, they will need to submit it by visiting the Home page section. In case you don’t find the lender in the list provided, it means the firm in question hasn’t satisfied the set criteria.
- Law Firms that Haven’t Yet Registered with Lender Exchange: The company will need to begin by submitting their registration. The registration process involves completing a set of prequalification queries. These are the queries that assist in determining the lenders a given firm can apply to. From here, the law firm can proceed to choose one or more of the listed lenders before being issued with login credentials to enable them to complete the remaining part.
Clients of conveyancing solicitors may not be aware of the Lender Exchange, however they will be benefitting from solicitors using the system as it represents a new means of communication between Lenders and legal firms to reduce the delay with mortgage documents.
Lender Exchange login law firm search
However the Lender Exchange has had its problems, with many legal firms having issues with it. For further information see http://thetimeblawg.com/2015/01/24/lender-exchange-fiasco/