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FSA to refer over 60 mortgage brokers to enforcement

FSA financial crime and intelligence division director Philip Robinson has told the CML mortgage fraud seminar today that a third of 200 cases referred from lenders have gone forward for enforcement action.

This would equate to over 60 mortgage brokers.

Retail managing director Clive Briault previously told delegates at CML’s annual conference in December that its Information From Lenders project has seen more than 30 lenders bring 200 plus cases to its attention.

Robinson told delegates today that a third of 200 plus cases have now gone forward for enforcement action.

He said that not many of these have seen the light of day yet but they will soon. He told delegates to “watch this space.”

He said: “It’s a great start. But it can be even better. The first step is to ask those lenders who haven’t yet taken part: why not? I know concerns have been voiced about not getting feedback which can show value for money, and that’s something we are committed to improving.

“I also know some lenders who are taking part have concerns about allowing us to make full use of their evidence against brokers they suspect. That can have a significant bearing on the success of our investigations. So I very much hope that all lejnders will give us the freedom to act on that evidence in the future, so that more casees can reach the successful conclusion that we all want.”

Robinson told lenders that if there are other things getting in their way then they should tell the FSA about it. “The more participants, the stronger the intelligence – and the better the results. It would be great for every lender to sign up.”

He also told delegates that the problem of mortgage fraud “looks bigger and more widespread” than it previously once thought.

Robinson said that his team in Financial Crime and Intelligence is putting the intelligence from the 200 cases, and the new ones coming in every week, side by side with some research into repossessions and possible new-build fraud from elsewhere in the FSA.

He said: “We’re firming up and expanding our understanding, and that’s informing the creation of a control strategy to guide our work, both internally and with our partners. We’ll be looking to work with you – both lenders and intermediaries – to help us with that.”

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