View more on these topics

Buying fake documents is too easy

Fraud in the mortgage market was in the spotlight last week after edeus revealed how easy it is to obtain fake bank statements, utility bills and payslips.

Edeus applied for documents via website Replicadocs. to prove an exaggerated income of £200,000 for a junior staff member. For £79.99, it was able to obtain a bank statement, payslip and utility bill (pictured below) which it says could be used fraudulently in mortgage applications.

Alan Cleary, managing director of edeus, says: “I’m amazed this company hasn’t been shut down. It’s obvious these documents are not being used for novelty purposes.”

As reported in the July 2 issue of Mortgage Strategy, says mortgage brokers are its biggest customers. It provides bank statements from Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as payslips from the Tax Office and identification from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and British Gas.

The Metropolitan Police says it is working to shut down websites providing fake payslips and bank statements.

A spokeswoman says: “We are undertaking enforcement activities and are also doing preventative work with the government, the financial services industry and Revenue & Customs.” says it is not breaking the law because its terms and conditions state the documents it provides are for novelty purpose only.

But the police can prosecute any person who adapts or supplies fraudulent documents under the Fraud Act. The Identity Act also allows the police to tackle creators of false identity documents as well as those who use them, and the courts can confiscate any assets obtained by fraud.

Fraud prevention service CIFAS last week revealed that financial fraud was nearly 19% up in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2006. Peter Hurst, chief executive of CIFAS, says fraud is at an all-time high.

The Financial Services Authority took a stand against fraud last week by banning broker John Adebayo Adepoju and cancelling the permission of his firm Landmark Finance for knowingly submitting fraudulent financial documents as part of the application process.

Jonathan Phelan, head of retail enforcement at the FSA, says: “Brokers must not submit or assist in the submission of mortgage applications containing false information. We will pursue any allegations that brokers are involved in submitting applications they know to be false. “

But because the FSA does not regulate firms such as, it is down to the police to investigate potential illegality. The FSA urges firms to have controls in place to help identify fake documents and says companies should report suspicious transactions to it.

See News: Buying fake documents is too easy


First HIP completed by AHIPP member

The Association of Home Information Pack Providers has revealed its member 7Side was the first to complete a Home Information Pack yesterday. The property in question was officially placed on the market yesterday in Llandaff, in Wales, by Mr. Hefin Owen, through John Williams Estate Agents.The HIP, which included an energy performance certificate, was then […]

Friends Provident close to merger

Friends Provident and Resolution are in an advanced stage of discussion regarding a possible merger. Friends Provident shareholders would own 49.1% of the merged company and Resolution shareholders would own 50.9%.

Mortgage Centre IFA seeks rugby players

Mortgage Centre IFA is on the look-out for rugby-playing mortgage professionals to join its team and play a friendly match in September. The team, the Honey Badgers, are reforming to play a one-off game against UBS Investment Bank in Blackheath on September 12. The team will comprise brokers, lenders and clients, and the standard is […]

Brokers miss out on £61m a year

Easier2move says brokers could be missing out on up to £61m a year by not referring clients for conveyancing. Brokers carried out over 1.2 million residential mortgage sales last year, but about 60% failed to recommend conveyancing services.

India budget: BJP focuses on growth

By Kunal Desai, Head of Indian Equities

With markets kept open on Saturday, finance minister Arun Jaitley delivered a promising budget focused on growth and decentralisation. While many complained about a six-day working week, there was much to be pleased about and the markets rallied in the afternoon to finish in the green.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Why register with Mortgage Strategy?

Mortgage Strategy continues to be the market-leading B2B mortgage publication in the UK, and provides trusted, independent insight with the aim of helping, promoting and analysing the latest developments for mortgage professionals.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Mortgage Strategy Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, webinars and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Mortgage Strategy's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now