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FSA sets up crime fighting division

The Financial Services Authority’s is upping its game in its fight against financial crime with the launch of a specialist division.

The Financial Crime and Intelligence Division will deal with financial crime across the board, including mortgages, by working closely with law enforcement agencies and other regulators to identify, assess and manage criminal threats.

A spokesman for the FSA says the division should be a reminder to brokers and lenders of the repercussions of mortgage fraud.

Last April the FSA teamed up with lenders to set up a reporting system that would allow them to blow the whistle on brokers they believed were in involved in fraudulent mortgage applications.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders and Association of Mortgage Intermediaries both back the new initiative.

Bernard Clarke, spokesman for the CML, says: “This initiative draws together information which has been useful to lenders and helped combat financial crime.”

Robin Gordon-Walker, spokesman for the FSA, adds: “Mortgage crime is unacceptable. Brokers must not get involved in mortgage fraud – it is a criminal offence.

“Colluding with clients to commit fraud exposes borrowers to criminal activity. Lenders must be alert to this and report any suspicions to us.”

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