Fincorp is one of nine Association of Short Term Lenders members to have signed up to the online Sira database which allows for the cross-referencing of information in an application with applications already stopped by Sira.
The lender has signed an agreement with underwriting verification firm NCI to send field officers to check the identities of and proof of address for all borrowers applying for a loan.
Fincorp director Nigel Alexander says: “Fraud is the single biggest issue facing the industry and it’s one we’re keen to be ahead of the game on. It’s the oldest cliché in the book but it’s true – it’s easy to lend money, the hard part is getting it back. When the value of a property falls you can lose some money; with fraud you can lose every penny.
“That’s why we’ve taken these steps to help us identify fraudsters and stop dodgy applications from slipping through the net. Clamping down on this type of criminal behaviour is critical, especially because bridging is a valuable source of finance form many reputable people.”
NCI senior manager Dave Brewster says: “Our aim is to make sure people are who they say they are and that lenders don’t miss a trick. There are a lot of hard up people out there dedicated to scamming lenders out of their cash and they’re clever at doing it.
“But our team of field officers makes identity fraud much harder – faking documents is a lot more straightforward than faking an identity when you can see the whites of someone’s eyes.”