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Mortgage Expo: FSA warns mortgage fraud set to increase

The FSA has warned that the number of mortgage fraud cases will increase following several years of lenders focusing on volume of business rather than quality.

Speaking at the Mortgage Business Expo in Manchester today, FSA head of financial crime policy and intelligence Bob Ferguson said he believes there is more latent mortgage fraud sitting unrecognised on the books of lenders.

He said: “The reason for that quite simply is that if the market has a cycle then fraud is going to have a cycle as well. We’ve already heard this morning 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 towards your sector.”

Ferguson added: “The strong impression i have in the work that we’ve been doing it’s pretty clear on that if you hand fraudsters an opportunity like that they aren’t going to be slow to move in for the kill.

“I think there may have been a few years for fraudsters in the mortgage market over the last few years.”

Ferguson said the FSA would be revitalising its Information from Lenders campaign this July. The scheme currently only has 35 lenders involved and he said it wants to get more lenders participating actively with the project.

He said the FSA would be improving the scheme by giving better feedback to lenders on the cases that they have submitted.

Ferguson said as a result of revitalising the scheme he expects to see a higher number of cases coming through to the FSA.

He warned that they will be have conversations with those lenders that do not submit cases to them.


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