Financial Services: Personation

Treasury written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) mortgage providers and (b) banks on the effect of identity theft on consumers of their products.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government takes fraud extremely seriously and recognises the devastating impact it can have on consumers and business.

Government is working to strengthen our systems for establishing identity so that serious and organised criminals are denied opportunities to exploit false or stolen personal data. This includes developing proposals for a digital identity system that would enable people to prove their identity easily and securely, without the need to provide physical documents, with the aim of reducing identity-enabled fraud and crime.

Firms are required by law to identify and verify their customer’s identity when they establish a business relationship, for example, by offering a credit card. How firms verify their customers' identities is not stipulated in law or by the regulator. However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires banks to maintain effective systems and controls to prevent the risk that they might be used to further financial crime. This includes controls to prevent fraud.

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