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14 October, 2022
From stamp duty cuts to cyber-crime and the cutting-edge technology transforming the conveyancing sector, there was lots to discuss at the CLC’s first Twitter Q&A.
Stephen Ward, our director of strategy and external relations, was in the hot seat as we tried to cover off the issues most important for conveyancers and consumers.
For anyone who missed it, we’ve rounded up all the questions and answers below.
Q: How do you expect the recent changes to stamp duty to affect conveyancing?
A: The mere mention of stamp duty in the chancellor’s mini-budget will have filled conveyancers with dread after the unprecedented activity seen following the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday in 2020/21. The key difference is this time it’s permanent though so we don’t expect a repeat. The same applies though – conveyancers should always be careful to manage workloads to maintain the highest standards of service and advice to clients.
Q: How do we know there won’t be another major cyber incident?
A: This is a huge concern for firms and the simple answer is we don’t. More than one in three businesses have been affected by cyber crime. A large law firm – not one regulated by us – was fined £98,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office earlier in 2022 for failures that led to a ransomware attack. Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods. The important thing is that we learn from these incidents. We talk more about preventative action in our Risk Agenda.
Q: Given the rise in cyber attacks, how do you know that digital ID checks are safe?
A: Experts believe digital rather than physical ID checks are actually safer as well as being quicker and may cut fraud. The risk of human error is reduced, information can be encrypted and it negates the risk of physical storage and management of documents. One of my monthly blogs for What Mortgage was on this very issue. You can read it here.
Q: Why is it so difficult to get professional indemnity insurance (PII)? What are you doing about it?
A: The PII market has been hardening for some time, particularly for conveyancers, but the process is improving. Our experience in the last renewal round was better than anticipated and no one failed to get coverage. We recently introduced changes that we hope and expect will make the process easier in future and these are explained in our Risk Agenda. It is a process that will need to be constantly reviewed, however, and we will continue to do so as well as continuing to promote greater collaboration of education and information sharing from insurers.
Q: The CLC’s recent roundtable called for action from government to mandate reforms, but when is this likely to happen given everything else going on?
A: Government support is essential but the industry will continue to work towards making the necessary changes and will keep up the pressure as part of the Home Buying and Selling Group.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the discussion. We hope to hold further Q&As in the future to highlight our work and changes and developments in the industry. If you have a question and didn’t get chance to ask it, please tweet us @CLConveyancers using the hashtag #AskTheCLC or email email@example.com.