HM Land Registry announced that high street lenders are adopting the digital service that allows mortgage and remortgage users to sign their documents electronically. This can be done via a mobile phone or computer using their free digital mortgages platform, Sign Your Mortgage Deed. Nationwide, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest were amongst the mainstream lenders and early adopters of HM Land Registry’s Sign Your Mortgage Deed.
The first digital deed was signed just over a year ago, for a house in Rotherhithe, south-east London, lodged by Coventry Building Society and conveyancing firm Enact Conveyancing.
In an update posted yesterday, Eddie Davies, the Registry’s digital services manager said the department is continuing to work with Coventry and Enact on the next phases of the service. The Registry is also working with lenders to get their mortgage deeds approved and templates created. Davies said the Registry has approved several deeds from lenders in the remortgage market including Nationwide, HSBC, RBS, NatWest and Santander.
Davies said: ’We’ve also been helping a number of conveyancers to access the system easily and quickly. So far we’ve been working closely with a group of conveyancers who together process more than half of all remortgages in England and Wales. As well as ensuring their systems are able to access the new service we’ve been collecting feedback from the group to ensure it meets their needs.
‘Since opening the service to more lenders and conveyancers we have seen an increase in the number of digital mortgages registered. This shows the appetite in the mortgage market to use new technology. Some lenders have started offering online mortgage applications and our service helps to bring the industry one step closer to an end-to-end digital process.’
Consumers are increasingly looking to use electronic systems to sign their documents and HM Land Registry are confident that progress will continue towards a completely paperless system in the near future. The fact that electronic systems reduce postal costs, printing costs and witnessing the signing process will make the electronic process more attractive.
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Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, commented: “People are doing an ever-increasing amount online, from shopping to banking, e-learning to gaming. Now they can remortgage their home online as it’s quicker, more convenient, and fits their busy lives. The Land Registry’s digital transformation is continuing to make it easier for homebuyers by embracing new technologies like blockchain, enabling them to become the world’s leading land registry.”