It is quite widely known that Land Registry together with Ministry of Justice, the Shareholder Executive and Treasury have, over the last two years, been assessing the viability of private sector involvement in Land Registry in one form or another.
This involvement ranges from business development partnerships to outsourcing arrangements to full privatisation KPMG recently completed a viability study on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and Today’s Conveyancer understands that Ken Clarke Minister for Justice is due to make an announcement shortly which will include the launch of a stakeholder consultation on the matter. The Ministry of Justice Press Office today suggested we should keep ringing back every week for updates.
With continued challenges facing the Ministry of Justice’s plans to cut expenditure a privatisation of Land Registry could be a quick fix in difficult times.
It will be interesting to see how conveyancers respond – on the one hand there must be concerns over the guarantee of title and commercial exploitation; while on the other hand there is the real possibility of greater efficiency, improved service quality and innovation. Amethyst Group – a syndicate led by Search Flow’s founder and former CEO, Mark Riddick – have been closely involved in these privatisation discussions.
Riddick says "there is a real opportunity for a privatised Land Registry to be the catalyst for the development of a more efficient, transparent and certain property transaction process. What is more, conveyancers would be at the heart of this development. For once, they would be the drivers, rather than the victims of change. It remains to be seen whether government recognise the scale of the opportunity."
Would you welcome this move?