HM Land Registry
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HM Land Registry and lenders to end progress chasing

We are working with mortgage lenders to ensure they will no longer need to chase conveyancers for updates on the status of their applications.

  • HM Land Registry is working with mortgage lenders to ensure they will no longer need to chase conveyancers for updates on the status of their applications with us.
  • In a new pilot, HM Land Registry will provide 10 of the top mortgage lenders with data on the progress of their applications directly.
  • The new service will be more efficient, save time and drive valuable savings for lenders and conveyancers.

Last week HM Land Registry started providing lenders with direct access to their application data, showing the status of all applications to register their mortgage security, provided the lenders’ unique reference (known as an ‘MD’ reference) is entered into the application.

This will stop the chase process, where lenders and lender panel managers contact conveyancers routinely to understand the progress of their many applications to register mortgages.

A weekly update will be shared with each lender to ensure their information remains up to date. This pilot phase includes the 10 mortgage lenders who represent the vast majority of the market, as well as two panel managers. If the pilot is successful, HM Land Registry will explore the opportunity to extend it to other lenders with an MD reference.

Mike Harlow, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Customer and Strategy at HM Land Registry, said:

Lenders want to know that their mortgages are either registered or in the proper process of being registered. 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 genuinely at risk. This should save the industry millions of pounds a year and give time back to conveyancers.

Rob Stevens, Head of Property Risk at Nationwide Building Society, said:

Getting direct access to mortgage application data is a breakthrough moment and is the culmination of many months of work between Nationwide, HM Land Registry and other lenders. It will really help to automate the unregistered charges process and save both lenders and conveyancers time by reducing the amount of back and forth between the two.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Building Society said:

Conveyancing processes are notoriously complex, fast-paced and, sometimes, stressful, so any innovation which helps to make the process less time-consuming is to be welcomed.

We are constantly looking for ways to make our processes even more efficient for customers, and are looking forward to experimenting with this new system and exploring how we can maximise its potential – which includes access to real-time Land Registry updates – to help with that.

Charles Roe, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, said:

This is a welcome initiative, which should improve the home buying and selling process for lenders, conveyancers and buyers. We look forward to working with HM Land Registry and the lenders involved in the pilot to help make this a success, with a view to rolling the system out more widely in due course.

Justin Parkinson, managing director of Decision First, which operates Lender Exchange, added:

This is a very welcome initiative; we look forward to working with HM Land Registry in the coming months. Getting direct updates on the status of our mortgages will significantly streamline our work and that of the conveyancers we work with.

Ten lenders are included on the pilot, representing over 85% of residential lending in the UK. The lenders are:

  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • NatWest Group
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Santander UK
  • Barclays
  • HSBC Bank
  • Coventry Building Society
  • Yorkshire Building Society
  • Virgin Money PLC
  • TSB Bank PLC

The two conveyancing panel managers are:

  • LMS
  • Decision First


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