Broker Guide: 10 ways to keep your office compliant against fraud

Broker Guide: 10 ways to keep your office compliant against fraud


Fraud is always an ever-present problem within the industry, therefore we at Bridging and Commercial enlisted the help of Ray Cohen, compliance expert and Managing Director at Jackson Cohen, to outline for brokers the top ten ways in which you should ensure your office stays compliant.


The Financial Services Authority has stated that firms are subject to numerous requirements relating to financial crime. For example, most are subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 2007; and all must comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the UK sanctions regime.


For potential clients who are deciding on a broker to use many more are now looking to see, and subsequently choosing, which brokers are fully authorised and FSA regulated. A mortgage broker, for example, must be regulated by the FSA and to give clients advice without being regulated is illegal.


These 10 points will provide you with the steps you can take to ensure that you reduce your financial crime risk within your office environment.


1)   Make sure you always check the Financial Sanctions Register as part of your AML checks and not just ID


2)   Keep a written record of why you chose the Lender and how that met the clients requirements


3)   Ensure confidential data is filed away in secure cabinets


4)   Only keep confidential data for as long as required for the purpose it was collected for (and to meet any regulatory requirements)


5)   If your photocopier has a hard drive (modern ones do) consider the data protection issues and act accordingly


6)   Check client information such as job/income to make sure you aren’t being used for fraudulent applications


7)   Check cases from AR’s/employees/introducers to make sure that they aren’t trying to put through fraudulent applications (knowingly or unknowingly) – and keep a record of your checks


8)   Carry out checks on your staff, your cleaners and IT support (including your back up provider)  – they could access client data and keep evidence of this


9)   Encrypt files if you can and password-protect laptops, portable drives, backups etc.


10) Check out the FSA Financial Crime Consultation Paper at


The FSA compliant brokers will have had to have to be trained and be fully aware of the expectations and rules of the FSA. They will also be accountable to the FSA which means that the consumer has a degree of protection.


In addition, FSA Principles require firms to conduct their business with integrity and with due skill, care and diligence; and, to take reasonable care to organise and control their affairs responsibly and effectively with adequate risk management systems.


The FSA already expect firms to have systems and controls in place to deal with the financial crime threats they face and the FSA can, and do, take action against those who do not.


Have you got any queries? Email

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