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Bank delayed completion by 4 days - no redress

gwapenut
gwapenut Posts: 1,322
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The completion of the sale of our house was delayed by 4 days because of errors introduced by our conveyancers' recipient bank while processing AML checks. This cost me £500 in lost interest and caused horrific problems and stress for our incoming buyers. We were lucky enough to be moving into rented accommodation, so there were no other knock on effects for us.

As a customer of the bank, I complained, but as expected they knocked it back because I was not the direct customer in this case (my conveyancer is). I took it to the ombudsman but, as expected, they are unable to help for the same reason. My conveyancer raised a complaint but that seems to have been fobbed off too, and they have less of a vested interest in pursuing it as I do. Quite understandably, as their fees were reasonable and do not cover weeks of bickering with a bank.

Is there anything else I can do to pursue this, bearing in mind that I have on direct customer relationship for this particular transaction?
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  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Posts: 2,204
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    Raise a formal complaint with your conveyancer - that is who you have a direct relationship/contract with.

    They failed in their responsibility to you to Complete as agreed. The reason for that failure is not your problem - It is for them to resolve the issue with their bank.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,141
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    If your conveyancer failed to request the money in time (bearing in mind possible AML checks), I guess you could look at pursuing your conveyancer.

    Have you got any reliable 3rd party advice about whether you have a case against your conveyancer?

    Obviously, if you just ask your conveyancer - it's likely that they'll say it's not their fault.


    And if you win a claim against your conveyancer - they would then decide if it's their fault, and bear the loss, or if it's their bank's fault, and pursue the bank.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,342
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    edited 4 February at 10:57AM
    Are you certain that your conveyancer's bank "processing AML checks" was the reason for the delay? I've never heard of that being a problem (solicitors' client accounts obviously have large, time-critical credits coming in on a daily basis - would be a complete pain if the bank wanted to investigate all or any of them), and not sure the bank would be allowed to disclose that even if it were (more often it seems to be the suspicion for what has caused mystery delays).
  • gwapenut
    gwapenut Posts: 1,322
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    edited 4 February at 11:37AM
    Thanks everyone. I understand the advice, but I don't want to raise a formal complaint with my conveyancer. I undertand this may be a self-imposed dead end. They are a small local firm who have been excellent throughout, and they have also been very transparent with me, sharing their correspondance to and from the bank.

    The buyers' conveyancer, a very large national firm, were a complete gang of clowns, bordering on negligent at the point of exchange of contracts, but to my surprise I have satisfied myself that neitherthey, nor my conveyancer, introduced delays into the completion process. The recipient bank raised routine queries, and then the originator of the queries disappeared so that no one could close down the query with the answers, and it was only a few days later when someone else at the bank stepped in, that the query could be closed down and the funds released. This is despite someone at my conveyancer trying to chase down someone who could help for hours on each day.

    "Our" bank also gave contradictory information, such as initially denying to our conveyancer that the money had ever arrived with the bank on Friday, leading us to initially suspect error or fraud by the buyers' conveyancer. This did not seem that unlikely at the time, given the previous errors. The puzzle was only decoded by the other bank and the two conveyancers, and ultimately "our" bank admitted that the money had been received but was on the naughty step.

    We know it was AML checks because we eventually had sight of the questions. 
  • bobster2
    bobster2 Posts: 442
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    edited 4 February at 11:38AM
    gwapenut said:
    The completion of the sale of our house was delayed by 4 days because of errors introduced by our conveyancers' recipient bank while processing AML checks. This cost me £500 in lost interest and caused horrific problems and stress for our incoming buyers. We were lucky enough to be moving into rented accommodation, so there were no other knock on effects for us.

    As a customer of the bank, I complained, but as expected they knocked it back because I was not the direct customer in this case (my conveyancer is). I took it to the ombudsman but, as expected, they are unable to help for the same reason. My conveyancer raised a complaint but that seems to have been fobbed off too, and they have less of a vested interest in pursuing it as I do. Quite understandably, as their fees were reasonable and do not cover weeks of bickering with a bank.

    Is there anything else I can do to pursue this, bearing in mind that I have on direct customer relationship for this particular transaction?
    It's annoying but - for £500 lost interest over 4 days I assume you're talking about a sale yielding equity of about £1 million. And the problems and stress were your buyers not yours.
    Is it really worth continuing to pursue this over £500?? Is it worth putting in any more of your time?
  • gwapenut
    gwapenut Posts: 1,322
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    edited 4 February at 11:45AM
    No, I don't think it is worth it. I just wanted to make sure that I was out of easy options to hold the bank to account.
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,247
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    gwapenut said:
    The completion of the sale of our house was delayed by 4 days because of errors introduced by our conveyancers' recipient bank while processing AML checks. 
    What was the broad nature of the "errors" ? 
  • theartfullodger
    theartfullodger Posts: 14,378
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    Sue them and see if you win. As long as you don't mind being de-banked...
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,342
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    Even if you don't have formal rights to complain as a customer, you could always threaten to take your business elsewhere - or have you already tried that?
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