Unfairly Marked CIFAS

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 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.

Types of CIFAS Markers:

  1. Protective Registration: this is a paid for service by a consumer, for example where they have become a victim of fraud, and lasts for two years;
  2. Victim of Impersonation: this relates to victims of identity fraud and lasts for 13 months;
  3. First Party Fraud: where there is no intent to repay the promise of future repayment in exchange for goods or services, and lasts for up to six years;
  4. Facility Takeover: where a bank account is taken over by a fraudster and used for unauthorised transactions, or the details are changed, and lasts for up to six years;
  5. Misuse of Facility: where an account or other facility is obtained with the intent of using it for a fraudulent purpose, and lasts for up to six years.
  6. Asset Conversion: where an individual sells goods, which they do not own, under a hire purchase, conditional sale, contract hire, leasing or rental agreement, most often involving motor vehicles, and can last for up to six years.
  7. Application Fraud: where an application is made in the customer’s name but false details, such as salary, address, employment or falsified documents are used, and can last for up to six years.
  8. Insurance Claims Fraud: such as where false information is provided on an insurance claim, and last for up to six years.

The Impact of CIFAS Marker

CIFAS markers become an issue for customers when applications for credit are made, such as on mortgage applications, car finance or for insurance products, and when applications are made for overdrafts or new banking facilities.  Where financial institutions become so concerned about activity reported on accounts, they can decide to close them even if those accounts are unconnected.

  1. CIFAS markers can have adverse effects on entire businesses and, where directors have had markers loaded against them, we have seen many instances where Bounce Back Loans or other forms of lending have been refused and accounts closed.
  2. For those employed in the financial service sector then CIFAS markers can have a dramatic and negative impact on careers and, because such organisations regularly check staff credit profiles, we have successfully acted for many individuals sacked as a result of markers being present.  Markers can also prevent applicants being offered positions.
  3. CIFAS markers can affect Student Loan Applications too – the Student Loan Company Ltd is a member of CIFAS and unless students have bank accounts they cannot receive their money.
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.