PEXA first set eyes on the UK more than two years ago – with the goal of introducing a world first digital solution for property that would save consumers time, money and ease the stress of buying or selling their home.
A solution already delivered and proven in Australia, the birthplace of digital conveyancing.
The UK was a rational new market to explore, given the likeness in land title systems – the Torrens title, language and historical link.
‘While we are similar, there are a number of differences. And we began with exploring the market, opportunity and understanding the industry,’ said Glenn King, CEO and Managing Director, PEXA Group.
In April this year, PEXA created the seventh active payment scheme in the UK, PEXA Pay, with the Bank of England acting as the settlement agent. To address a wider market, PEXA also announced a partnership with ClearBank, to allow for the disbursement of funds for lenders not integrated to PEXA Pay.
With payment systems ready to go, in just five months, PEXA completed its first transaction in the UK. The remortgage transaction was conducted with lender Hinckley & Rugby Building Society and national law firm, Muve, using PEXA Pay.
Soon after, the company announced its plans to acquire Optima Legal, a high-volume remortgage processing firm headquartered in Leeds, which focusses on remortgage activities, mainly for large banks. The deal, completed at the end of November will help speed up the introduction of digital property transactions in the UK, allowing for a greater demonstration of its benefits to conveyancers, lenders, government and consumers.
“The acquisition of Optima Legal presents a fantastic opportunity to facilitate the roll-out of digital property settlements in the UK. With the ability to swiftly introduce digital solutions to the market, we will be able to provide a more streamlined system that could help conveyancers, lenders and consumers. As interest rates rise and cost-of-living continue to be an issue, we are committed to providing solutions that could potentially help ease stress and pricing pressures of home ownership,” King said.
Tom Trevorrow MD, Optima Legal adds, “PEXA Group will be a fantastic new home for Optima. They are a company we really respect and one that is committed to significant investment in the UK as they help transform the housing and conveyancing market – we’re proud to be part of their future strategy.”
While Optima Legal is now owned by PEXA, PEXA affirms that it will remain and open platform for all partners and industry participants.
As PEXA continues to grow its footprint in the UK, and more transactions ‘go digital’ the company geared up to expand its influence and truly cement its position as a world first technology.