Fraud Up? Q1 Panel Removals higher than 2020 Combined

Mark Hosker

November 16, 2021

Mark Hosker is director of Cyborg Finance

Last week we revealed some interesting data on intermediary panel removals in 2020, such 0.95% of mortgage intermediaries were removed from lenders panels in that year.

This week the data published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) show that mortgage lenders removed more intermediaries from their panel in the first three months of 2021 than all of 2020 combined.

More intermediaries’ careers ended in the first three months of 2021 compared to the previous 12.

We did have lower than average panel removals in 2020, but this alone does not explain the Q1 2021 spike.

Suppose we presume that Q3 and Q4 2020 had lower than average panel removals (COVID) and deduct the difference from Q1 2021. We remain in record-breaking territory.

To demonstrate the number of panel removals in Q1 2021 is also greater than 2018 Q1, Q2 & Q3 combined.

Q1 2021 panel removals total 139 intermediaries, which is more than double any quarter as far back as records reveal (2018).

We don’t have up-to-date data for the rest of 2021, but these early numbers suggest that fraud is up significantly, and mortgage advisers need to be extra vigilant.

Given mortgage lenders indicated, they did not believe at least 74% were ‘complicit in fraud’ in this period. The majority of panel removals are likely due to low-quality processing and in need of a more forensic examination.

It would seem to me Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) and Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) should shake the tree and see what falls out. Where does the data suggest intermediaries are falling short? What more can intermediaries do to guard our careers?

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