GOV.UK Verify has backed 2 million digital land searches already

As the digital mortgage deed becomes more established, the mortgage market is going to have to get its head around digital signatures, says the head of the Building Societies Association

Posted 7 August 2018 at 8:39am by

GOV.UK Verify is starting to help digitise the UK’s conveyancy sector – a move that will make life much easier for homeowners and buyers.

The claims come in an opinion piece in Mortgage Finance Gazette magazine online this week, from the Chief Executive of the Building Societies Association, Robin Feith.

He notes that, “One area of life that stubbornly uses the technology of the previous century rather than the 21st century is the conveyancing process, with physical letters, fax and letters still the preferred way of getting most business done.”

However, he adds, “things may finally be changing” as key parts of the housing chain digitise their systems and processes.

This digitisation runs from conveyancers themselves, who are “increasingly investing in new technology”, and the sector has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for the government’s push to improve the home buying process, he believes, citing as an example April’s first-ever UK digital mortgage deed.

HM Land Registry has continued its digitisation programme with the launch of a digital Local Land Charges (LLC) Register, he adds, pointing out how the body is also working in partnership with up to 26 local authorities in England this year to migrate data to a central, digital register.

Warwick District Council has also digitised land searches, with 1.9 million accounts using GOV.UK Verify to perform over five million secure transactions, he states.

“As the digital mortgage deed becomes more established, the mortgage market is going to have to get its head around digital signatures,” Feith concludes.

“Likewise, with HM Land Registry looking at everything from chatbots to blockchains as part of its Digital Street programme, there will be no let-up in the pace of change… and all parts of the chain will need to invest in their systems and processes as the market (and customer expectations) adapt to a digitised future.”