What Lenders & Brokers Need To Know
Removing the confusion and misinformation
There are service providers in the market referring to ARNECC’s supposed “update to the VOI Standard”. There has been no such update and no relaxation of the VOI Standard.
ARNECC’s Guidance Note 2 – Identity Verification applicable since February 2019 makes the position very clear “…. where the [VOI] Standard is not being used a [Mortgagee] may consider that use of video technology, such as Skype or FaceTime, is useful in the particular circumstances. …… ARNECC notes that video technology may be manipulated or forged, therefore caution is recommended. The use of this technology is at the discretion and risk of the [Mortgagee]…..”.
So what are the facts?
Firstly, video technology has no place in a process where a lender and/or a broker are applying the VOI Standard.
Secondly, applying the VOI Standard is the only way to achieve certainty about compliance with the VOI requirements in the ARNECC MPR.
Thirdly, nothing has changed since COVID-19.
What are the new proposals to change identity verification requirements?
ARNECC’s 19 March 2020 position statement isn’t a proposal for changing identity verification requirements. The current proposed changes to identity verification requirements are those that were released in December 2019 and followed by industry consultation in February 2020.
A vulnerability identified by ARNECC and its advisors has led to their proposal that the VOI Standard should be applied across the board. ‘Reasonable steps’ (eg processes involving video technology to interview the borrower) would be in place as a fallback position only.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed many things in the world, but it has not changed the fact that ARNECC’s role is to protect the integrity of the sale process and the integrity of the Land Titles Registers.
Until ARNECC provides a regulatory update, the only change proposed to identity verification requirements makes reliance on ‘reasonable steps’ available only when the VOI Standard cannot be applied.
Identity Verification during COVID-19 and preparing for de-escalation.
The risk taken when the VOI Standard is not applied is exactly the same during COVID-19 as it was prior to COVID-19, unless a court determines otherwise.
Without the lender, a broker, or an Identity Agent (such as MaxID) conducting an in-person face-to-face verification of identity in compliance with the VOI Standard there are serious potential consequences if there is identity fraud.
The potential cost and complexity of remediation programs where a regulatory ‘safe harbour’ is ignored should be considered.
On a positive note, the WA State Premier has announced that his Government is beginning to ease COVID-19 restrictions including lifting the restrictions on home opens. Similar approaches throughout Australia could bring more normality back to the residential property and mortgage market sooner rather than later. Pursuing temporary identity verification solutions that do not match long term requirements may become a costly exercise for lenders.
MaxID’s current lending clients have not had to focus on tactical responses to borrower VOI for third-party or other distribution channels during COVID-19. Using MaxID’s VOI Standard compliant legal services means they were prepared for COVID-19 and beyond.
Taking the COVID confusion out of Identity Verification
As a fully insured Law Practice, MaxID delivers VOI Standard ‘safe harbour’ compliant face-to-face in-person VOI in a COVID-19 social distancing environment. No need to visit a broker, office or have a stranger visit your clients. Borrower VOI completed from home in minutes.
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Simple 3-Step Process
Using a smartphone or tablet, your client will simply:
Using a smartphone or tablet, your client will follow the guided experience to enter to their details, photograph their ID documents and nominate someone they trust to meet, sight and inspect their ID documents.
Your client will meet a person acceptable to Max ID face-to-face and in-person anytime, anywhere in Australia. They will both need to bring original ID documents and a smartphone or tablet to complete the process.
After a successful ID Verification, our Australian Law Practice issues an ID Verification Certificate to the person or organisation that requires it. Providing you with secure, safe and convenient ID Verification.