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Big banks have driven 400 per cent digital mortgage growth – Land Registry

by: John Abbott is director of digital data and technology, HM Land Registry.
  • 11/11/2019
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Big banks have driven 400 per cent digital mortgage growth – Land Registry
This April saw the first anniversary of the ‘Sign your mortgage deed’ service, one year on from the first digital mortgage deed being registered.


In that time we’ve been working with major lenders to bring them on board. Nine major high street banks, including Santander, Nationwide, and HSBC, are now using the service and more are getting ready to.   

Now the digital mortgage service has hit another key milestone, 2,000 mortgage deeds have been registered and momentum is really building.


Simple and easy 

The ‘Sign your mortgage deed’ service is a simple and easy way for a borrower to sign their mortgage deed digitally when they remortgageNo need for posting documents or finding a witness to countersign the document.

Once the lender’s conveyancer has created the deed, the borrower can verify themselves using Verify and sign the deed then and there.  

All the borrower needs to do is give their conveyancer their mobile phone number, email address and date of birth and a digital mortgage deed can be quickly created and sent on. 

We designed this to meet the needs of borrowers, mortgage lenders and conveyancers.

The hassle of posting and finding witnesses has been removed for borrowers. Conveyancers are seeing improved turnaround times. Lenders are benefitting from an improved customer experience, and the risk of fraud are also reduced.  

The benefits for conveyancers and borrowers we’re working with are beginning to show with faster turnarounds and improved customer experiences being reported.


Building momentum

In October we experienced the largest volume of deeds registered by the service to date, and we have now reached a key milestone; 2,000 digital mortgages registered, less than a month after we registered the 1,000th.

There has been a real shift towards digital innovation in the mortgage market; lenders and conveyancers are providing digital solutions that are safe, quick and easy to use.  

Many of the lenders using the service have invested in digitising mortgage applications for their customers, but they are slowed down by a paper-based process when it comes to signing the actual deed.

By digitising this it becomes possible for the entire end-to-end process of remortgaging to be entirely paperless. We regularly see instances where deeds have been signed within three days of the conveyancer being instructed.

Demand among lenders is growing, we have onboarded a number of large-scale conveyancers this summer.

We began with Coventry Building Society and Enact Conveyancers back in 2018 and had registered just over 50 deeds by the end of March this year. The number of digital deeds being created has grown 400 per cent in the last few months alone, HSBC in particular has contributed to this growth since they started using the service in July.


Moving forward

Our focus is now to continue to work with lenders and conveyancers on increasing the number of their customers that will benefit from the service and using their insight and experience to improve the experience.

While we are very satisfied that the number of borrowers signing digital deeds is increasing, we know there is more work to do before we can accomplish our vision of digital mortgage being the only way a borrower wants to sign their deed.


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