30% of Home Purchasers Not Asked For ID

| General

The purchase of a property is arguably one of the greatest achievements a person will gain, undoubtedly a significant financial commitment, and is one of the most stressful times in life a person will experience. In the normal course of events those who find themselves in the fortuitous position of being able to purchase a house, whether on a freehold or leasehold basis, are asked to provide some form of identification. 

However, an alarming report published by Credas Technologies, a business that specializes in the inspection and confirmation of identification documentation, has discovered that a large segment of those purchasing residential properties in the United Kingdom, some percent had not been asked to provide any form of identification whatsoever. This was also in light of the numerous choices available to consumers to prove their identification.

What Did The Stats Say…

Shocking the headline rate of the survey was, this was not the only finding of the report. Interestingly the results highlighted three more important issues which need tackling urgently. The results revealed:

  • approximately percent of those taking their steps down the treacherous road of home purchasing were not asked to provide any form of documentary evidence detailing their current address location
  • around percent were worryingly also not asked to corroborate their identification against any form of documentary evidence by their mortgage brokerage and
  • just short of percent communicated that their solicitor or conveyancer had not inspected or confirmed their identification against identification documents. 

So What Forms of Identification Are Acceptable?

Numerous documents are legally acceptable to prove the identification of a person or persons who are seeking to purchase the property. These documents are summarised below and can be used on their own or in combination with other documents

  • passport 
  • driving license
  • utility bills, such as electricity, gas, council tax, and telephone statements
  • bank statements
  • national identity
  • corroborating data against the particular person’s credit file or 
  • by way of a biometric residence permit 

What Could Happen?

Many lay persons may not foresee the dangers ahead when mortgage brokerages, legal professionals, and property companies fail to request identification from their prospective clients. Some may believe that due to the stretched resources this aspect is a price worth paying. However, Tim Barnett from Credas Technologies disagreed. He described as astonishing the fact that property professionals are neglecting their duties towards their clients to carry out even the most basic of identification checks upon prospective purchasers. He elaborated on the implications of not following the long-established industry standards. He commented that legal professionals need to be taking their responsibilities regarding the corroboration of identification documents incredibly seriously as they are obliged by law to do so. The implications of duties are extremely serious especially if criminals are carrying out the illegitimate activity within the markets these professionals carry out business in.

However, by way of balance, Mr. Barnett suggested that there is a causative link between the difficulties experienced and overstretched resources. He commented on his opinion that there was no evidence of a casual approach being taken by professionals operating in this sector. 

Way Forward?

Professionals operating in this sector need to be ensuring they are carrying out their duties correctly and taking the time to conduct identification checks. This will go some way to closing the gap on these alarming statistics, prevent fraud and money laundering and make the United Kingdom one of the most trusted locations to transact business from a global perspective.

Written By Adam Green


#Allen&Overy #BakerMcKenzie #HerbertSmithFreehillsLLP #LewisSilkin #MishcondeReya #Simmons&Simmons #AddleshawGoddard #CliffordChanceLLP #CMS #DACBeachcroftLLP #EvershedsSutherlandLLP #LinklatersLLP #TaylorWessing #TraversSmith #Bird&Bird 


[SOURCE 1] Lontayao, Rommel – ‘Nearly a quarter of homebuyers not asked to prove their identity – Mortgage Introducer – 30 August 2022 - Nearly a quarter of homebuyers not asked to prove their identity | Mortgage Introducer (mpamag.com)

[SOURCE 2] Lontayao, Rommel – ‘Majority of regulated firms planning a switch to electronic verification – Report – 23 August 2022 - Majority of regulated firms planning a switch to electronic verification - report | Mortgage Introducer (mpamag.com)

[SOURCE 3] Mulane, Joseph – Study finds 23% of homebuyers not asked to provide identification – Today’s Conveyancer – 5 September 2022 - Study finds 23% of homebuyers not asked to provide ID when purchasing (todaysconveyancer.co.uk)




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