Building society saves £61m from fraud in 2020

Building society saves £61m from fraud in 2020
 Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Skipton Building Society has prevented a loss of £61m to fraud in 2020 but said it has seen a decrease in fraudulent activity.

According to the building society, its financial crime team has seen fraudulent activity drop by almost 45 per cent compared with 2019, in part due to additional measures implemented to protect customer funds.

Ian Walker, head of financial crime at Skipton Building Society, said: “The team this year alone have prevented over £60m in fraudulent mortgages and scams – spotting and preventing numerous attempts at defrauding others.

“And while it’s pleasing to see this, and the number of cases going down, we all still need to be vigilant and ensure we all make it as difficult as possible for criminals to exploit the customers or the Society.”

In September the Society of Mortgage Professionals urged brokers who were concerned that a customer was attempting to commit mortgage application fraud not to submit the proposal to a lender under any circumstances.

According to the professional body, the majority of mortgage application fraud occurs where applicants either fabricate, embellish or conceal elements of their personal circumstances to obtain a mortgage.

In addition, Skipton noted reduced instances of savings account frauds such as authorised push payment (APP) fraud.

The building society introduced a ‘nominated account verification scheme’ this year whereby customers can only transfer money to accounts in their name.

According to Skipton, the scheme has prevented customers from sending funds directly to fraudsters.

This month UK Finance announced that seven signatories to the voluntary APP Contingent Reimbursement Code had agreed to extend the interim funding to compensate eligible victims of APP scams until June 30.

The extension is intended to provide further time for legislation to be agreed and implemented that would place the voluntary code on a statutory footing.

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