Sometime a personal or business account is closed by bank without giving any details to the customer. A major reason behind this action is CIFAS marked against your name
CIFAS stand for ‘CREDIT INDUSTRY FRAUD AVOIDANCE SYSTEM’
CIFAS was established in 1988 by the Consumer Credit Trade Association (CCTA) under the acronym CIFAS: Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System, although the company no longer operates under this acronym as the scope of its services has broadened. CIFAS is a not-for-profit organization that it says exists to reduce and prevent fraud and financial crime. It maintains a database of individuals who carry our fraudulent activity. Financial services providers can provide it with information about their customers.
The detailed information about CIFAS can be sourced from https://www.cifas.org.uk/
To check if CIFAS is holding any information with your name on it, you should make a Subject Access Request, using the CIFAS SAR form and enclose your proof of identity. They have to reply to within a month but aim to reply within a week. There is now no charge for this report. Follow this link to get the subject access request from CIFAS.
A CIFAS warning in your name indicates to other organizations that you've been a victim of impersonation and that another person has used your name and personal identification details.
Whilst this might cause you some inconvenience this CIFAS warning will help protect you from further impersonation attempts. This record can be held at CIFAS for 13 months.
A CIFAS Marker in your name can be shocking to your credit record with financial institutions. In very open words, it means that you have deliberately planned to or committed a fraud to receive some financial benefit. CIFAS markers can be held for up to six years in the CIFAS database. Left unchallenged, CIFAS markers can be hidden behind your credit rating for up to six years. In extreme cases, this can result in your bank account being closed at short notice, and the resulting problems in finding alternative banking facilities some businesses have failed as a result.
In past few years, we have seen CIFAS Markers placed against individuals / Businesses incorrectly. These unjustified markers were issued by bank and other financial institutions which have devastating effect on the credit rating for up to six years although the individual remains unaware of the occurrence of the activity or not guilty. There is a sharp rise in CIFAS Markers where the customer cannot be held responsible, however, never got a chance to justify themselves.
This is a common practice to place CIFAS marker against someone without informing or giving any chance to justify. The consequences and the time frame for the same is also not advised to the customer by the producer of this information.
We have seen a non-professional and below standard investigation and case handling before marking the grave information to CIFAS which can see abrupt closure of banking facilities for individuals and businesses. This situation can leave an individual or a business in the middle of nowhere and the crises starts from here. Closure of banking facility for a business can prove fatal and as result it can go into liquidation.
This questionable behavior from financial institutions needs to be addresses.
How We Can Help?
We are receiving queries about unfair CIFAS Markers now almost every day. Once we receive a query from customer for potentially unfair CIFAS Marker case, we conduct a documentary investigation and fact finding before making an in-house decision to accept or decline the case. If we believe that a customer has become a victim of unfair practice from financial institution, we take that matter up with the producer of unfair information. These type of cases are complicated and complex in nature hence due diligence is applied at every step.
In logical terms if we are able to prove the financial institution that the information reported to CIFAS is incorrect, usually that piece of information is removed or amended to the satisfaction of the customer.