Land Registry to speed up transactions

Published: 17/01/2024 By House & Son team

HM Land Registry has introduced a groundbreaking service that allows lenders direct access to their application data, providing real-time information on the status of mortgage security registrations. This innovation eliminates the need for lenders to regularly contact conveyancers for updates, streamlining the process and enhancing efficiency.

The new system requires lenders to input their unique reference, known as an 'MD' reference, into the application. This eliminates the traditional chase process where lenders and panel managers had to routinely communicate with conveyancers to track the progress of multiple mortgage registration applications.

Under the pilot phase, a weekly update will be shared with the ten mortgage lenders involved, collectively representing over 85% of the UK's residential lending market. Notable participants include Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group, Nationwide Building Society, Santander UK, Barclays, HSBC Bank, Coventry Building Society, Yorkshire Building Society, Virgin Money, and TSB Bank. Additionally, two conveyancing panel managers, LMS and Decision First, are part of the pilot.
If the pilot proves successful, HM Land Registry aims to extend the direct access service to other lenders with an MD reference, potentially revolutionizing the way the industry tracks mortgage registrations.

Mike Harlow, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Customer and Strategy at HM Land Registry, emphasized the positive impact on lenders, stating, "This new direct service completes the picture of where the registration of their mortgage has got to. Now they do not have to chase conveyancers unless something is at risk. This should save the industry millions of pounds a year and give time back to conveyancers."
Participants in the pilot are optimistic about the benefits. Rob Stevens, Head of Property Risk at Nationwide Building Society, highlighted the breakthrough nature of direct access to mortgage application data, emphasising its potential to automate processes and save time for lenders and conveyancers.
A spokesperson for the Yorkshire Building Society welcomed the innovation, acknowledging the complexity and fast-paced nature of conveyancing processes. They expressed enthusiasm for exploring the new system's potential to enhance efficiency and provide real-time updates from the Land Registry.
Charles Roe, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, and Justin Parkinson, Managing Director of Decision First, also lauded the initiative, foreseeing improvements in the home buying and selling process. They expressed eagerness to collaborate with HM Land Registry to ensure the success of the pilot and its potential future rollout.