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Mortgage intermediaries act as professional go betweens so the applicant never deals with the bank direct. They also work on a commission basis getting paid for successful deals only. There is scope for fraud here and the FSA has recently cracked down hard on this. There are also proposals to put the mortgage intermediary on the same 'approved person' scheme as IFAs are. This means much more stringent control and monitoring.
One key area of concern to lenders that may surprise people is that not only are some licensed conveyancers involved, but there are also some solicitors who seem prepared to indulge in mortgage fraud.
The members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are also not above suspicion. There have been many cases in the past where valuations have been at the very least 'negligently' high.
Going back a few decades just about every borrower via overdraft, unsecured loan or mortgage was personally known to the lending institution. This type of fraud would have been much harder given the savings regime one had to undergo prior to obtaining a mortgage. This is not the case nowadays. There is also the tension between a 'Tescos-like' speed of service and due diligence, which is something the NFA report highlights.
Presently the FSA only regulates residential owner-occupier loans, the report suggests that broadening its scope to involve second charges and buy to let mortgages would improve overall regulatory oversight.
So, the next time you make an application let the team take their time to get it right for you whilst catching the fraudsters. It will save you money in the long run.
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