The banks and financial institutions in the country cannot be blamed for making requirements that law firms must have certain types of criteria before they are considered able to do business with them .
Knowing very well that most lawyers survive on doing financial transactions that follow Sale and Purchase agreements, the banks have been doing this for a long time. It is only now that the Bar Council has taken it upon itself to question this kind of practices. The new president of the Malaysia Bar must be commended for her bravery and stand on this issue.
The banks and financial institutions know very well that it is a bread and butter issue for most advocates and solicitors who have small practices around the country but this has been the silent rule that all of us have been subject to all these years without anybody trying to question it because of the fear that it may "rock the boat".
Now since there are 13,000 advocates and solicitors in the Peninsular alone, the boat just can't take the weight anymore! Many are sinking and trying to do other things to keep their practices afloat.
If the banks are there to help the consumer/borrower/customer/businessman and others who seek their assistance, then they must also have a social obligation to give the loan documentation back to the solicitor that introduces them these people. Is that too much to ask?
The banks look at small time solicitors cum sole proprietors with suspicion because they feel that these practitioners might abscond with their client's money once it is released to them as stake holders for the completion of the transaction.
The banks are not to blame for this apprehension as some past bad experiences have made them more tough in their approach to give these documentation to the solicitors that introduce them clients.
Therefore it is a Catch 22 situation. But in today's situation, many solicitors are only trying to make a decent and honest living. They want their clients to have a complete transaction done with them with the bank's help in assisting in the completion of the loan facility.
The banks have therefore got to be more socially obligated to help the small and medium- based businesses who have their own solicitors whom they are comfortable with when it comes to transactions that they intend to enter.
Basically the banks stand to gain if they do away with the current practice.
Lets cross the racial divide and help racial integration by showing the example that all of us have an equal chance to survive and live in harmony in Malaysia. If others are being encouraged to make Malaysia their second home, why can't we born and bred Malaysians learn to live with one another without race and ethnicity dividing us.