NatWest Bank to Lead Blockchain Consortium to Simplify Mortgage Purchase in UK
National Westminster Bank (NatWest), one of the largest retail and commercial banks in the United Kingdom, has announced that it will lead a consortium that will leverage blockchain technology, to simplify and speed up the process of buying a property in the U.K.
According to a recent Forbes report, NatWest will be leading this consortium with real estate blockchain startup Coadjute, along with six other firms including Dezrez Estate Agency Software, Search Acumen Property Data, LMS Panel Management Software, Redbrick Solutions Conveyancing Software, eTech Surveyor Software and Conveyancing Data Services Property Data.
At the moment, the process of buying a home is quite tedious and lengthy. Several parties including lawyers and conveyancers have to do a lot of checking and vetting. This could involve authenticating documents between old and new owners, or several mortgage companies that the property has been handled by. On average, the entire process will last for three months before the conclusion. Because it is very important for all parties to share necessary data which usually takes a lot of time, NatWest and Coadjute hope to simplify the entire vetting process, by onboarding everything to a blockchain, with a view to reducing the process from three months to as quick as three weeks.
NatWest Director of Mortgage Innovation Dan Salmons has said that the move was to make things a lot easier for interested buyers:
“We are committed to finding innovations that make our customers’ lives easier, and know that the complexity of conveyancing is a key pain point for many. We believe the approach has the potential to be a real game-changer, not just for our customers but for the entire property market.”
Coadjute already had a trial for this process, which was hosted on Microsoft’s Azure and powered by R3’s Corda network, and has already begun onboarding several participants in the UK. Coadjute CEO and founder John Reynolds has said that the platform will have a considerable number of players in the sector, by the time it’s ready.
“Even at this stage, we have connected up 12% of the mortgage market, 1,000 estate agency brands, 4,000 conveyancers, and 80% of all property valuation instructions. With a pipeline of leading platform providers signed up and ready to onboard, we will have a significant percentage of the property industry on the platform when it goes live.”
Salmons has further explained that when it does go live, the process will be done via blockchain through an app. Expectedly, all parties to a purchase will be able to monitor the progress from start to finish, via the app.
It is also expected that the new method will streamline the process such that any unnecessary middlemen that clog up the current method, are completely cut out. This way, the entire thing is a lot faster, cheaper, with a higher level of privacy regarding data and information.
Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.
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