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FSA to toughen defences against mortgage fraud

The FSA has written to mortgage trade bodies outlining its plans to toughen the industry’s defences against mortgage fraud, including targeted visits to 200 firms.

The FSA told the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, British Bankers Association and Building Societies Association that its plans will make it harder for organised mortgage fraudsters to succeed.

The regulator will conduct targeted visits to 200 mortgage intermediaries to assess their systems and controls and will increase the intelligence received from lenders by streamlining reporting processes and providing more clarity on the information needed.

It says it will also enhance the way intelligence is used in supervising firms and bringing about enforcement actions.

The FSA says easy credit conditions and streamlined application processes have prompted fraudsters to target the mortgage sector.

FSA financial crime sector leader Philip Robinson says: “Mortgage fraud is a serious and widespread problem. We have set out our approach and expect the industry to do their part in tackling this menace. Brokers should make sure that they provide suitable advice and that their businesses cannot be used for the purposes of committing fraud.

“Lenders must also have in place systems and controls to reduce fraud and continue to provide us with the intelligence which is key to our success in this area.”

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