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Regulator castigates lenders on staff training standards

The majority of lenders do not have adequate focus on mortgage fraud prevention in their staff training programmes, according to the FSA.

The regulator conducted visits to 20 banks and building societies’, which accounted for 56 per cent of the mortgage market in 2010, to review their mortgage fraud standards between April 2010 and February 2011.

During these visits, the regulator reviewed their staff training arrangements.

Last week, the FSA published a thematic review of mortgage fraud against lenders and found that most lenders’ training programmes do not explore mortgage fraud in depth.

The paper says: “We were concerned that firms’ training programmes often lacked material focused on mortgage fraud. We recognise that training should be tailored to staff members’ roles but often basic material was lacking on, for example, the methods by which staff can report their concerns.

“Mortgage fraud was sometimes touched on in the financial crime training provided to all staff, but seldom explored in depth.”

Lentune Mortgage Consultancy director Stuart Gregory says: “I am surprised that they have found these issues so recently. I would have thought, bearing in mind the last couple of years and how the market has been, the processes would have been more robust than that.”

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