The Land Registry’s digital service “Sign your mortgage deed” was launched a year ago and is now being offered by major high street lenders.
The service enables people to sign and submit their mortgage deed online (which can be done on a phone, tablet or computer) without the need to print out the deed, sign it in the presence of a third party witness and return it by post.
At first glance this seems less secure than a paper copy signed in the presence of an independent witness. However, the deed is digitally signed and, in place of a witness, uses gov.uk.verify to confirm the mortgagor’s identity, which provides an additional level of security over signing a paper deed. The digital mortgage deed is then held on the Land Registry’s IT database, making it more secure than a paper copy which could be lost or tampered with.
The service is currently only available for re-mortgages. It will not be extended to apply to all mortgages until further testing has been carried out. The banks that have signed up to the service include the following:
Skipton Building Society
West Bromwich Building Society
Clydesdale Yorkshire Banking Group
Coventry Building Society
Principality Building Society
Platform (a trading name of the Co-operative Bank
10 April 2019