An investigation by the regulator found Walthamstow mortgage broker Kevin Byrne accepted mortgage referrals from an introducer but failed to undertake the due-diligence or basic checks on the client information supplied. This led to Byrne submitting seven false and misleading mortgage applications, with at least one customer not existing.
Byrne also certified supporting documents without seeing the originals. Incorrect information as a result of this included a bank statement for one applicant that contained different sort codes and account numbers on different pages; two applications with false passports and payslips supposedly from two different employers with identical information.
Byrne confessed that no checks were in place at Forest Financial to reduce the chance of the business being used to commit mortgage fraud. Bryrne has now been prohibited and as the only adviser at Forest Financial the regulator has also cancelled the permissions of the firm.
FSA director of enforcement and financial crime Margaret Cole says: “Byrne acted recklessly by accepting business from introducers without undertaking any due diligence. This made him an easy target for the introducer to obtain mortgage advances from lenders on a fraudulent basis, which could have been prevented if Forest Financial had put in place basic financial crime checks.
“Byrne is paying a heavy but necessary price. This prohibition serves as another warning to mortgage brokers who accept business from introducers in suspicious circumstances without doing the proper checks.”