Lenders urged to accept electronic ID verification

Ramesh Sharma

January 28, 2006

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, explained that previously lenders had avoided using electronic ID verification as they were unsure about the FSA’s stance on the system. But he said now the regulator has endorsed its use, lenders have no excuse not to accept it.

He said: “Lenders need to get on board with this. The benefits of using electronic ID verification are vast. The client doesn’t have to send their passports in the post so it is cost-effective, and the risks of money laundering and fraud are reduced as the systems set up are more robust.”

Paul Fincham, senior media relations officer at Halifax, said: “We do not currently use electronic ID verification, although this may change in the future. If you are developing something along these lines then all the processes must be right and in place.”

Charlotte Sjoberg, press officer at Nationwide, said: “Brokers can access our products via MTE as well as applying direct with Nationwide through our paper-based applications. The amount of ID we require depends on the case and in some instances we would want to see the original or a certified copy.”

Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner at Goldsmith Williams, said: “Firms are making a concerted effort to do away with the need for client ID, and the quicker this process is consistent the better. However, people must not forget that you are not just looking at the ID, but the similarity of signatures and so on, to protect against fraud and money laundering. The process is not quite there from a lawyers’ perspective.”

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