The first significant step towards a unified and government-backed system of identity checking is to take place on Thursday when an industry group pressing for change is to meet online.
To give a flavour of its importance, nearly 90 industry and government representatives are due to join the panel.
It will kick off a process that will eventually enable agents, conveyancers, mortgage lenders and brokers access a variety of different identify checking suppliers via a commonly agreed framework.
The initiative is also a key part of the progress towards creating a Property Log Book, another initiative backed by Ministers keen to reform the home moving process.
The Digital Identity Group panel, which is meeting under the auspices of the Home Buying & Selling Group, says this framework will reduce friction and delays for all concerned by enabling a home buyer, seller or renter to have their identity checked just once and the data shared with all the parties in the chain.
“This is designed to stop people having to prove their identifies up to four or five times during the home moving process, which I think hacks many people off,” says Stuart Young (pictured, above), who is chairing the group.
Other benefits include:
- Greater cashflow for agents and conveyancers as transaction times are shortened.
- Reduced risk of mortgage and property fraud.
- Cheaper professional indemnity insurance.
- Quick and easier AML checks.
“Sorting out identity checks needed action before Covid but the pandemic has made it an urgent necessity now that people are less able to meet face to face,” adds Young.
His group is working with both the Land Registry and the government department that looks after digital, the DCMS, to create the framework.
It also has the blessing of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government including its lead official Matt Prior. He is keen to see the industry come up with a solution that the government will then turn into law.
Those attending include representatives from builders, conveyancers, estate agents, solicitors, mortgage brokers and lenders, auctioneers, surveyors, several portals (Zoopla and OpenBrix) and Trading Standards.