Property Exchange Australia (PEXA Group) has set its sights on acquiring remortgage processing firm Optima Legal in a bid to expand into the UK market.
The Leeds-based firm provides legal services in the UK remortgage market and is considered one of the largest remortgage processing firms in the UK, with around 22 percent market share.
PEXA sees the piurchase of Optima Legal from its existing owner Capita as a chance to integrate its own digital platform into Optima Legal’s systems and create benefits for the UK market.
The company said it has already successfully launched its digital remortgage platform in the UK this week, with the Hinckley & Rugby Building Society and conveyancing firm, Muve already live, and Shawbrook Bank set to ‘go live’ soon.
With the acquisition expected to complete before the end of the year, PEXA managing director and CEO Glenn King said “a digital settlement solution will deliver improved accuracy and efficiency while reducing costs.”
“Given the significant volume of remortgaging activity in the UK market – and with volumes expected to increase as interest rates continue to rise – more streamlined systems are urgently needed for the benefit of conveyancers, lenders and, ultimately, borrowers,” he said.
He added the Australian market “understands” benefits stemming from a digital property settlement solution “so we look forward to demonstrating that value to a new audience.”
A PEXA spokesperson told iTnews the “new UK platform has been specifically tailored to the unique UK market”.
“The UK and Australian markets operate quite differently. For example, Optima Legal supports banks with remortgaging, however in Australia, the banks do this themselves, so this is really a unique UK proposition,” the spokesperson said.
The company will also extend the platform’s capabilities in 2024 with the release of its sale and purchase solution, according to its UK website.
PEXA also announced it recently launched PEXA Pay, the seventh net settlement payment scheme in the UK, in partnership with global technology consultancy firm ThoughtWorks, with the Bank of England acting as the settlement agent.
In other PEXA-related news today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it won’t oppose the sale of PEXA part-owner Link Administration Holdings to Dye & Durham (D&D), as long as the latter divests its existing Australian business, which it has committed to do.
Link currently has a 42.77 percent shareholding in PEXA.