Richard Powell: Financial crime landscape continues to evolve

Jake Carter

September 2, 2021

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The financial crime landscape has continued to evolve over the past 15 months, according to Richard Powell, group head of financial crime at OSB Group.

The impact the past 15 months has had on household income has been significant, whether positive or negative, Powell noted.

He said: “We continue to see a higher prevalence of income-related mortgage fraud, and I do not foresee any change in this trend.

“It never fails to surprise how the serious implications of amending documents provided as part of a mortgage application is underestimated.”

Powell went on to say that government-backed loans did not form part of the group’s considerations for 2020, and whilst as a group it did not offer some of those products, it had to remain mindful of the impact of their misuse.

He explained that loans intended to support an individual’s loss of income have been turned into mortgage deposits; these were not only outside of the terms and conditions, but could have an adverse effect on the wider market.

Powell added: “To mitigate this specific risk, we implemented a number of changes to strengthen how we managed source of deposits.

“Where we are placed in the mortgage market, operating in an intermediary-only environment can add an extra layer of protection when compared to direct mortgages.”

However, he said OSB Group’s investment in systems and technology to assist in the identification of financial crime remains critical to managing the risk.

Powell added: “There is growing interest cross-sector in the development of a Digital Identity Solution, which would provide the consumer with a potential one stop shop to evidence their identity.

“As an industry we would all welcome a solution that could aid eradicating identity fraud and provide additional confidence to improve the customer journey.”

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