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Land Registry supports commercial property funds transfer

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.


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.

Starting with extensive consultation in 2002, which received almost 70% 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 said it would support developers and commercial enterprises that wished 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 Chief Executive, Peter Collis said: "Lack of information to buyers and sellers is one of the most common reasons why one in three 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 said it would 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 also said it was aware of a number of commercial providers who were considering development of a similar product and Land Registry would assist them in taking this concept forward.

Commercial enterprises and developers requiring further information should email enquiries@landregistry.gov.uk.

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