A significant proportion of UK homebuyers are not asked to provide ID when buying a property, let alone have their ID checked.
A recent survey of UK home buyers asked when buying their last property, did the selling agent ask for any proof of identity, such as but not limited to a passport or a driving license ?
77% of respondents said they were asked to prove their identity, a task that can be accomplished quickly with a passport or driving license, biometric residence permit, national identity card or a combination of documents such as council tax bills, bank statements and utility bills.
This can also be done through a KBV, where a number of questions are asked based on personal information from their credit report.
Despite the relative ease and range of options available to help verify a person’s identity, around a quarter (23%) of those surveyed by Credas Technologies admitted that they were not asked to verify at all their identity.
When asked the same about their current address, 30% also said they had not provided any proof, for example, in the form of a utility bill or similar.
13% said they were not asked to verify their identity by their lawyer or notary once the sale started to progress.
18% also said their mortgage broker initially failed to properly verify their identity as well.
Tim Barnett, CEO of Credas Technologies says:
“For the vast majority of those operating in the real estate industry, not verifying the identity of a potential buyer can seem unbelievable.
Not only is there a legal obligation to do so, but it can also be extremely detrimental if they fall prey to criminal activity.
Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think, especially for those trying to manually verify a large number of buyers.
This is almost certainly an oversight due to limited resources, rather than a cavalier attitude on the part of professionals in the real estate industry.
However, it demonstrates the value that can be derived from a professional approach, in which identity verification can then be used in all areas of the transaction process and by multiple stakeholders such as agents, lawyers and brokers. mortgages.
It also highlights the value of investing in a genuine onboarding platform that will prevent any transaction from progressing if a buyer’s identity is not properly verified.
Not only does this approach save time, money and resources, it also reduces the chances of criminal entities using the industry to launder their ill-gotten gains.