The digital signing was part of HM Land Registry’s ‘Sign your mortgage deed’ service, designed to build for a future without the need for a witness to watch as the homeowner applies an ink signature to a paper mortgage deed.
The new digital process was announced as part of HM Land Registry Business Strategy 2017 to 2022 back in November 2017, when the government body laid out its plan to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.
The registration of the deed follows months of collaboration and testing with Coventry Building Society and Enact Conveyancing and uses the GOV.UK Verify process to enable borrowers to securely verify their identity before digitally signing their mortgage deed online.
The GOV.UK Verify process was introduced in May 2016, and works with organisations such as the Post Office, Royal Mail and banks to provide ‘proof’ an individual is who they say they are. It is thought this additional identity verification makes the process even more secure and reliable than conventional paper signature methods.
HM Land Registry chief executive and chief land registrar Graham Farrant said: “By working with partners in the industry, we have secured a simpler and faster service for the benefit of home owners. We are looking forward to rolling this out nationally and will be working with more conveyancers and lenders to do so.”
Peter Frost, chief operating officer at Coventry Building Society added: “Initial feedback has been very positive, with customers finding the process simple, quick and secure. Although this initiative has started with re-mortgages we’re excited about the potential for it to be extended to purchases in the future.”