The mortgage services arm of Australian investment services group Perpetual yesterday rejected claims that its operations do not comply with licensing rules. It insisted legal work it performed on behalf of financial institutions was being done by qualified lawyers. The company's mortgage services subsidiary, Perpetual Mortgage Services, which provides mortgage processing and settlement services to some of the country's leading lenders, has come under scrutiny from property lawyers and conveyancers following a bungled outsourcing deal with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ). Perpetual spokesman Michael Woods yesterday defended the business against the attack from the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (AIC) and the Law Institute of Victoria. "Perpetual Mortgage Services Pty Ltd does not engage in legal practice," Mr Woods said in an e-mailed statement. "Perpetual provides mortgage processing services for customers. To the extent that these services involve legal work of any kind, it is carried out by...qualified Australian lawyers."