Trade body sets up working group to crack down on fraud
Ship, the trade body for the equity release sector, has today (15 May) announced the launch of a working group that will seek to crack down on fraud and to consider the impact of fraudulent activities on the equity release mortgages sector.
The launch of Ship’s fraud working group comes ahead of the trade body’s relaunch as a new organisation that will represent the whole of the equity release industry.
The primary objectives of the fraud working group will be to bring together equity release providers, advisers and solicitors to implement good practice guidelines across the industry to help ensure every possible step is taken to combat fraud in equity release, Ship said.
It added that it intends to build relationships with suitable organisations to share information and raise fraud protection standards.
The immediate priorities of the group will include:
• identifying organisations that can help provide early warning of suspicious activity occurring within the equity release market;
• establishing communication channels with suitable organisations to help industry wide awareness of potentially fraudulent activities;
• considering ways of distributing information and ensuring the industry is able to present a firm and united stance to combatting equity release fraud;
• to establish Ship representation at the mortgage fraud forum.
Andrea Rozario, director general of Ship, said: “A person’s home is often their largest and most valuable asset – both financially and often sentimentally.
“Therefore the decision to release the equity from it is a big one, and it is important that consumers have confidence in the safety of the products they have chosen.
“Ship’s Code of Conduct has helped to protect customers and build the reputation of the industry. The fraud working group will work to develop industry guidelines to further increase standards and guidelines which will ensure the ongoing safety of customers.”