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Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Graham Farrant explains how HM Land Registry’s new Business Strategy sets the direction for the next five years and explains ‘Digital Street’

Posted on 03 July 2018 by Graham Farrant

Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Graham Farrant explains how HM Land Registry’s new Business Strategy sets the direction for the next five years and explains ‘Digital Street’

HM Land Registry was set up in 1862 to make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper, by moving from an unregistered system of ownership to full registration of land. Our mission today, ‘your land and property rights: guaranteed and protected’, reflects this heritage and reinforces our commitment to put our customers right at the heart of our organisation.

Last year, we released our Business Strategy 2017 to 2022, setting the direction we will take over the next five years to meet the ambition set for us by the government ‘to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data’. By 2022 we aim to digitise and automate 95% of our daily transactions to help simplify, speed up and improve the efficiency of registration.

Our Business Strategy sets out how we will make dealing with us quick and simple by becoming even more customer focused, digital and efficient. For us, this is all about being brilliant at the basics: our core statutory registration services.

We want all the land and property in England and Wales to be registered. Creating a more definitive record of property ownership in England and Wales, with high quality and comprehensive data, will help make buying and selling houses simpler, faster and cheaper and will support economic and housing growth.

We are exploring ways of improving conveyancing, by helping to improve the way that Local Land Charges are managed, working with stakeholders in the property market to set up industry and policy forums and looking at issues with leasehold registration.

The UK has some of the best geospatial data in the world, with much of it held by public bodies like ourselves. We will publish a wide variety of data in high quality and accessible formats, supporting the growing digital economy, enriching the nation’s geospatial intelligence and working with the developing Geospatial Commission.

Our Digital, Data and Technology team continues to explore how technology can revolutionise land registration and conveyancing in the future through ‘Digital Street,’ our ground-breaking research and development project, working with our partners to see what difference they could make.

We’ve already created a digital register for a small selection of properties, which is a first step towards having a register that is fully machine-readable and able to be updated instantly. We worked with our partners to create three concepts (potential ideas) that demonstrated what services could be achieved with a digital register.

Digital Street will provide an opportunity for us to work closely with property technology (PropTech), financial technology (FinTech) and law technology (LawTech) start-ups and innovative businesses, such as challenger banks, to explore how a digital register might enable new business models to make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper.

The learning from Digital Street will inform our current digital services, both now and in their future development. Digital Street is our way of contributing towards a property industry where people will buy, rent, sell, finance, build and manage the property with ease.

To modernise and reshape the organisation, we need to empower our people. We will continue to develop the skills of our caseworkers to enable them to become the most digitally skilled land registration experts, blending their registration expertise with digital systems.

We have a robust financial plan to ensure that our aims are affordable, deliver value for money and can respond to fluctuations in the market.

We know we can’t do all of this alone. We recognise the critical role our partners will play in making it a success, which will enable us to be the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.

We are proud of our heritage and history and through our transformation plans we will extend our cherished reputation even further for the benefit of our people, our customers and the nation. I hope that you, our partners, view this as an exciting opportunity and will join us on this journey.

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