One of Britain’s most senior policemen has warned that the government’s Help to Buy scheme could result in an increase in cases of mortgage fraud.
The Financial Times (FT) reports that Detective Superintendent Oliver Shaw – who specialises in tackling economic crime – has said that incidents had been on the decline recently because banks had been applying stricter rules when it came to lending.
Mr Shaw told FT: “We’ve seen fewer mortgage frauds recently because banks have been more careful about who they’re lending to but when Help to Buy goes live fully, that’s a huge vulnerability.”
He added that part of the challenge police now face is trying to remind financial institutions of the issues which led to mortgage fraud becoming a major problem in 2009.
Although prospective homeowners can now apply to take part in the Help to Buy scheme, the actual purchasing of properties will not begin until the start of 2014.
Successful applicants will be able to secure a mortgage worth up to £600,000 with just a five per cent deposit. The government will then guarantee a further 15 per cent in order for borrowers to be able to receive better rates of interest.