Mortgage fraud reaches £36m in 2008

The value of mortgage fraud increased by almost ten-fold last year to hit £36m, the latest data from KPMG reveals.

The forensic fraud barometer from KPMG shows that in 2008 the value of mortgage fraud reached £36m, compared to £3.7m for 2007.

The consultancy firm is warning that mortgage losses are set to emerge as “more visible” as a result of stringent lending criteria.

Fraud cases as a total for the year hit £1bn, the highest level since 1995.

Alleged fraud within financial services accounted for £388m of the total, but £220m of this can be traced back to an alleged attempt to hack into Sumitomo Matsui Banking Corporation’s systems.

Speaking to the BBC, Hitesh Patel from KPMG, says: “These figures are bad enough in themselves, but I fear the trend for the next couple of years will be even worse.

“As the global economic downturn takes hold it is very likely that more fraud will come to light.”