Cameron takes FSA to task on mortgage fraud

David Cameron has called into question the methods used by the government to discourage mortgage fraud.

In a speech this morning the Tory leader called for the Financial Services Authority to be given more power to make an example of fraudsters operating in the mortgage world.

He noted that very few criminal charges have been brought against mortgage cheats and suggests that more must be done.

He says: ” I welcome the recent comments by Jamie Symington of the FSA that they would “bring more criminal prosecutions in the future”. But the truth remains that in the last twelve months, they have only brought four cases to trial.

“And only one of these has any connection to the current crisis – a mortgage advisor who lied and submitted forged documents in his application to become an FSA approved person.

“The other three all involved incidences of insider dealing that occurred before the debt crisis. This is not, at root, about more legislation.The laws are already there. Rather, it’s about implementation and law enforcement.”

Cameron acknowledges that the Serious Fraud Office should play an important role but he cites a review conducted by American prosecutor Jessica de Grazia suggesting that it is not as effective as it could be.

Cameron adds: ” The FSA and the SFO should be following up every lead, investigating every suspect transaction. And the government should be urging them on, because we need to make it one hundred percent clear: those who break the law should face prosecution.”