Conveyancing firms that have not applied for the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) by 28 March will be removed from Santander’s panel, the bank has confirmed.

In September last year, the bank announced that existing, as well as new, firms on its residential conveyancing panel would need to gain the accreditation by 31 March.

Following a meeting last week with the Law Society, Santander confirmed that it will not move the deadline, but agreed that those firms that have applied in good time or are about to do so, will not be removed from the panel until an accreditation decision is made.

Firms that apply very close to the deadline, just before the Easter weekend, will be given ‘pending removal’ status. They will be able to continue pipeline work but will receive no new instructions from Santander until a CQS decision is made. If they gain the accreditation, their suspension will be lifted.

Firms that do not apply by 28 March will be removed from the panel.