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‘Self-cert and fast track lenders must take some responsibility’

Mortgage advisers have told the FSA that the self-certification and fast-track mortgage markets can encourage fraud.

In a question and answer session at the Mortgage Business Expo, several advisers told FSA head of financial crime policy and intelligence Bob Ferguson that lenders need to take more responsibility in these sectors.

One adviser said: “I have had experiences where I have not been able to help somebody and then I subsequently find out that they have done something with another lender.

“This has led me to believe that they have perhaps done something that they should not have done with regard to fast track.”

Another adviser said: “Lenders have to take a lot of responsibility for it. They give you the tools to do it, then deny responsibility for it. It is a bit like giving somebody a gun to rob a bank and then saying it is not our problem. I think fraud is rife across the industry.”

Ferguson said: “I agree that the more you relax your scrutiny and verification of applications, the more you are vulnerable to getting the wrong kind of business in. The question is whether, over the last few years at any rate, there has been too much tension between the requirement to operate effective safeguards and the pressure to write new business.”

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