Fincorp takes tough stance on fraud


Bridging lender signs up to SIRA and sends field officers to borrowers' homes
Bridging lender Fincorp has put its foot down on fraud by signing up to the SIRA database and committing to send field officers to verify borrower identities in person.
The lender is one of nine Association of Short Term Lenders members to have signed up for the web-based Syndicated Intelligence for Risk Avoidance (SIRA) database in a bid to tackle fraud head on.
The system allows members to cross-reference information in an application such as a telephone number or personal detail with applications already stopped by SIRA.
Flagged applications are then investigated further and the suspect case is cross-referenced with all other applications in the system from the past 90 days.
In its fight against fraud Fincorp has also agreed a contract with underwriting verification firm NCI to send field officers to check the identities and proof of address of all borrowers applying for a loan.
The firm's chief executive is former ASTL chief executive Adrian Bloomfield whose long experience in the bridging sector offers Fincorp peace of mind that it is underwriting to the highest standards.
Fincorp director Nigel Alexander says: "Fraud is the single biggest issue facing the industry and its 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 for many reputable people."
Dave Brewster, senior manager at NCI, adds: "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."
NCI has been offering field services in the bridging sector since 1997