The launch of the Conveyancing Task Force is a “positive move”, according to John Dobson (pictured), chief executive of SmartSearch.
Dobson believes that this provides an opportunity to modernise customer onboarding, with the intention to improve due diligence processes and help reduce money laundering activity.
Dobson said: “The launch of this new task force for the conveyancing sector is a really positive move, particularly as one of their aims is to formulate and agree due diligence procedures.
“Top of the list of priorities for the task force should be stemming the tide of money laundering and financial fraud that has swept through the property market since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year.”
Dobson believes that this issue can be resolved through accelerating the move to electronic verification (EV) across the conveyancing sector for onboarding new customers and complying with Know Your Customer (KYC) guidance.
He added: “The government has been clear on this point in recent months in terms of backing the use of EV, because it is much more secure and accurate in providing the true identity of a would-be house buyer.
“It is high time the outmoded method of manually verifying customer ID is made obsolete in favour of a digital process which protects your business, saves time and money and stops fraud at the front door.”
Adam Forshaw, managing director of O’Neill Patient, agrees with Dobson, and suggests that the task force will improve the conveyancing process.
Forshaw said: “We welcome the formation of the Conveyancing Taskforce as collaboration within the industry is the way forward to improve the conveyancing process for consumers and conveyancers alike.
“It has been a busy and difficult few month working within Covid restrictions and high demand due to the stamp duty holiday deadline.
“By working together, the industry can look for better ways to make the process more efficient through the use of technology and sharing ideas.”