Charge Validation

Ten years ago we launched our Charge Validation service to meet the needs of our commercial customers who delivered services in an unexpectedly buoyant property market.

This was great news for the UK where, a decade later, property remains a hot topic among both industry professionals and the public. For the latter, property can be representative of identity and longer-term security. Industry professionals rely on Land Registry to provide robust products and services, so they can deliver effectively to a customer base with diverse needs and circumstances.

A helping hand to busy lenders

When we first introduced the service we found the customers most interested in it were lenders needing to validate mortgage portfolios against registration of title information. Since then, the Charge Validation service has progressed to encompass a risk and asset management tool both for lenders and other industry professionals.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics indicate shifting sands in property ownership. In 2016, we see less individual ownership of property by millennials and greater professional landlords’ ownership of portfolios. Some of these property owners can be overseas corporations or governments, housing associations and trusts or entrepreneurs making their mark in the sector.

Effective solutions for essential requirements

The sector remains complex and dependent on accurate and legally compliant information. This is often the first consideration for lenders and intermediaries and where Land Registry’s expertise offers significant support through cost efficiencies in establishing certainty and security of registered legal charges.

Along with essential compliance information, we have designed the Charge Validation service to improve the quality of existing information as well as offer pricing by volume. The service is flexible and can deliver across a range of lender portfolio requirements. These include supporting bulk transfer activities, e.g. the registration of change of name and transfer engagements. Security of mortgage portfolios is improved. Validation confirms priority and status on the land register.

Commercial customers can choose to receive reports on a one-off basis or via a regular audit. Our Charge Validation service suits a variety of reconciliation and risk analysis activities that we have determined to be common for lenders and intermediaries.

Intelligently designed for business critical processes

An on-going Charge Validation service success story is our customer Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS). The UK’s third largest banking group has been a customer since 2009. Since then it has benefited from knowing charges are registered without being reliant on solicitors’ confirmation. Use of the service has reduced cost, time and resource for the organisation.

Charge Validation provides a clear audit of RBS’ secured lending portfolio, highlighting any risks from unregistered securities. The bank’s storage costs have been reduced as paper-based documents are now obsolete.

Gordon Gracie, Project Manager for RBS Mortgage Operations, cites:

“I fully support the use of the Charge Validation service. It simplifies a number of processes for us. The service involves quite a lot of manual intervention by Land Registry staff so it could be tailored to meet our requirements. It’s not just relying on what the system does. Charge Validation is critical to our processes now.”

Added value for global brands and UK property enterprises

A range of commercial customers use Charge Validation to streamline their mortgage business. Our customers are among the UK’s top providers for consumer and commercial mortgage services.

These organisations lead the sector in best practice, competence and credibility. The UK’s largest building society, Nationwide, uses the Charge Validation service to confirm monthly registration charges for The Mortgage Works.

Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) used the service for a specific due diligence exercise where they were able to confirm all of the charges they had registered across their entire lending book. Deutsche Bank, which ranks 5th globally, has also used the service for a similar exercise to facilitate the purchase of portion from another lender whose details are currently confidential.

Glasgow-based Greenbelt Group provides land management services to clients UK-wide. The organisation had a requirement to confirm registration of their trading name and to have necessary updates to their trading address. Our Charge Validation service offered the solution, without disrupting the services Greenbelt Group offer to more than 50,000 households.

We have firmly established the Charge Validation service as a leading product within our product portfolio. There is so much for commercial customers to explore: auditing, evaluation, management and assessment. If you’re a lender or intermediary, whose business needs optimal solutions for mortgage verification, explore the benefits of the Charge Validation service.

Antoinette Jeremiah
By Antoinette Jeremiah,
Business Development Manager at HM Land Registry