Speaking at the Mortgage Business Expo in Manchester last week, head of financial crime policy and intelligence Bob Ferguson said he believes there is more latent mortgage fraud sitting unrecognised on lenders’ books.
He said: “The reason for this is that if the market has a cycle, then fraud is going to have a cycle as well. We have already heard that the focus of lending has been on the volume rather than the quality. The focus has been on business acquisition. In that kind of environment of easy credit – of volume lending – that is a situation in which fraudsters are going to gravitate to your sector.
“The strong impression I have in the work we have been doing is that if you hand fraudsters an opportunity like that they are not going to be slow to move in for the kill.”
He told delegates that the FSA will be revitalising its Information from Lenders project in July. Since its launch two years ago, lenders involved in the scheme have referred 250 cases to the FSA. The scheme currently includes 35 lenders but Ferguson said the FSA wants more lenders to take part actively with the project.
He said: “We are going to establish the ground rules of the scheme with greater clarity. We are going to give lenders better feedback on the cases that they have pushed in our direction. We are expecting to see more cases coming to us.
“We expect to see more lenders pushing cases to us. Where they don’t, we are going to be asking them why aren’t you?”