Conveyancing firms will continue to be able to act on behalf of Santander while their Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) applications are being considered, the Law Society has announced, following negotiations with the bank.

Last year the bank changed the terms of its residential conveyancing panel to require all existing, as well as new, member firms to gain the Law Society’s conveyancing accreditation by the 31 March.

The new arrangement means that some firms will be able to continue to receive instructions even though they do not have final confirmation of their accreditation in time for the deadline.

Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said the agreement proves the worth of proactive dialogue with lenders. ‘We all know that the CQS application process is incredibly robust and we will not compromise on these high standards. We also know how important being on a lender panel is for firms' livelihood.

‘This agreement with Santander is a very positive development which will hopefully see more firms continue their relationship with Santander and its business.’

Santander’s financial crime manager Tracey Carr said that introducing an element of flexibility was the right move for the bank and demonstrated that it is responding to the needs of firms and their clients.

She said: ‘We benefit from an open dialogue with the Law Society and together agreed that for both commercial and practical reasons, it was important to recognise the efforts of firms who have applied for their accreditation in a timely fashion and are just waiting for a decision.’

Santander will inform firms next week whether they can accept new instructions on behalf of the bank.