Watchdog bans adviser who lied on his own applications

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The Independent Online

A south London mortgage broker has had his licence to trade withdrawn by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Isah Attayi Mohammed, who traded as Initial Financial Services Limited in the Old Kent Road, was found to have tried to trick lenders into approving mortgages based on bogus and inflated incomes. The regulator said Mr Mohammed lacked "honesty and integrity" and had submitted what amounted to fraudulent mortgage applications.

Between June 2006 and February 2008, Mr Mohammed put in seven applications in his own name, claiming his income had risen from £49,600 in 2003 to £140,000 in 2006. Exaggerating the size of his income allowed Mr Mohammed to obtain ever larger loans.

The FSA has been investigating fraud in the mortgage market for the past few months, in response to lenders' suspicions. To date, it has banned five brokers for committing fraud and expressed concerns over several dozen mortgages arranged by other brokers.

But that is unlikely to be the end of the matter. The FSA's Jonathan Phelan said that it was still finding instances of fraud and brokers making false declarations "on their own mortgage applications, as well as submitting false mortgage applications for customers".