HM Land Registry
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

Land Registry supports the commercial development of chain matrix and electronic funds transfer

In an important development for the long term future of the property market Land Registry is offering to support developers and commercial enterprises that want to develop Chain Matrix TM and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) type services.

This decision was taken following market research commissioned by Land Registry which built on the results of the Chain Matrix prototype. It confirmed the overall desire to improve chain transparency and identified cross-market collaboration as a key success factor for Chain Matrix.

Starting with extensive consultation in 2002, which received almost 70 per cent support for the concept of Chain Matrix, Land Registry has kept in close touch with industry. Many stakeholders were involved in the development of the Chain Matrix prototype.

Land Registry will support developers and commercial enterprises who wish to market their own commercial Chain Matrix and EFT-type products by:

* working with them in a consultancy capacity

* defining the requirements for the provision of Land Registry data to commercially offered solutions

* acting as an information component provider by making commercially available details of the technical design and architecture of Land Registry's Chain Matrix service.

Land Registry's Chief Executive, Peter Collis said:

"Lack of information to buyers and sellers is one of the most common reasons why 1 in 3 transactions fail between handshake and exchange of contracts. This is why Land Registry believes in the principles of Chain Matrix. Land Registry's decision to launch Chain Matrix was taken at a time when no private investor was prepared to be the first to establish such a wide-ranging cross industries initiative. By seeding the market with the prototype, by developing good examples of technical functionality and uncovering other aspects affecting chain transparency, we have helped those commercial ventures better understand what is required. Because of this work the time is now right for the private sector to move this on and we know they are ready and eager to do so.

"This decision is both in keeping with our policy of concentrating our resource on enhancing and expanding e-registration services and in line with the research findings. It enables us to carry on doing what we do best, while supporting the commercial market to develop entrepreneurial or innovative new services which will meet the needs of conveyancers in the future."

Land Registry will continue to develop electronic services through the launch of e-discharges, e-charges and cross-government collaboration with the Legal Services Commission. Later this year, Land Registry is introducing the Business Gateway service that will permit conveyancers to use their case management software to lodge directly applications to Land Registry.

Land Registry is aware of a number of commercial providers who are considering development of a similar product and Land Registry will assist them in taking this concept forward.

Commercial enterprises and developers requiring further information should contact 

Notes to editors

1. The 2008 research, conducted with conveyancers, lenders, estate agents and recent homebuyers throughout England, included a study of current issues in the property market and deeper insight into the behaviours around managing property chain events. The findings were also confirmed by other market soundings taken by stakeholders at the same time.

2. Land Registry's decision in December 2007 to prioritise the introduction of core e-services was influenced by key learning from the 2007 Chain Matrix prototype and customer feedback on EFT.

3. The first full e-conveyancing consultation in 2002 involved over 4,000 conveyancers. Almost 70 per cent supported the Chain Matrix concept in principle and in 2004, Land Registry conducted a national series of workshops with conveyancers, estate agents and lenders to develop the Chain Matrix concept and define its requirements. This culminated in the 2007 prototype in Bristol, Portsmouth and Fareham (Hampshire).

4. Chain Matrix is a web-based notice board that shows the progress of buyers and sellers through a series of key stages in each property transaction in dependent residential property "chains", providing greater certainty and transparency within the property market.

5. Electronic Funds Transfer is a partner service to Chain Matrix. Its aim is to make payments up and down the "chain" simultaneous and enable Stamp Duty Land Tax to be paid at the same time as the registration of an electronic transfer deed. This would make transfer of funds more certain and speed up completion of a sale or purchase.

6. With the largest transactional database of its kind detailing over 22 million titles, Land Registry underpins the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property.

7. As a government department established in 1862, executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Land Registry keeps and maintains the Land Register for England and Wales. The Land Register has been an open document since 1990.

8. For further information about Land Registry visit 

Marion Shelley 020 7166 4543 

Heather Edwards 020 7166 4487 

Webinar Recording: AI for local government - staff shortages