It’s likely that fraud is rife as brokers try to boost income

Am I alone in surmising that brokers must still be regularly perpetuating mortgage fraud by placing self-cert business through fast-track lenders?

A recent Mortgage Strategy poll indicating only 25% would accept fast-track disappearing, along with Abbey’s more vigilant stance shows that despite the mess our industry and country are in, fraud is probably still rampant.

With no self-cert products available to meet consumer demand and brokers under pressure to generate income many applications must be going through the fast-track process not backed up by evidence of income.

Woolwich, Abbey and Halifax could be in for a shock if they audit their recent cases irrespective of LTV and credit score.

You’ve also got to ask questions about any network or brokerage where evidence of income is not required and checked for every file.

Meanwhile, is buy-to-let being used for self-cert where clients are prepared to pay a premium and brokers are desperate?

Like all ethical brokers I am turning away what would have been self-cert business two years ago, and have a list of clients to approach if that market ever comes back or their income structure becomes full status.

Money laundering is another area where, unless procedures are tight enough, breaches are probably all too regular. For example, it’s common sense to look at where clients live relative to brokers and ask whether face-to-face meetings are likely to have taken place.

And when it comes to identity theft the question that must always be asked is – did that client really send their passport to the broker?

If any lender – or indeed the Financial Services Authority – would like to employ me to help eliminate fraud once and for all I am open to offers. Poacher turns gamekeeper? Why not.