Brussels bombshell will cost every UK household £40

Amanda Jarvis

March 4, 2003

The Draft Directive removes the right of lenders to check out the information supplied by consumers on applications for mortgages, credit cards, loans and bank accounts by restricting their enquiries to creditworthiness. The UK’s fraud prevention service, CIFAS, which represents over 200 financial services companies, has estimated the additional fraud losses at over £1 billion per annum, the equivalent of £40 per UK household.

Commenting on the move, a representative from the Association said: “We believe the European Commission has fundamentally misunderstood how the UK’s financial services companies use information to prevent fraud. In 2002, fraud worth £360 million was identified and prevented by our members, up 40% on the previous year. British lenders use information supplied by consumers on their applications for financial services to verify their identity, to prevent money laundering and to stop impersonation cases. Losing the ability to do these things, is like opening the bank vaults and allowing the crooks to help themselves.”

CIFAS is lobbying hard with cross party support from members of the European Parliament, from the UK’s police services and from the UK Government for changes to the Directive.

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