Equifax is launching Equifax Address Check to facilitate lenders in identifying addresses with a suspicious level of account activity. The solution will flag addresses with an unusually high number of financial accounts or that are known fraudulent mail forwarding addresses so that lenders can investigate the circumstances and help protect against fraud and money laundering. The information can also be incorporated into their affordability assessments, acquisition, customer management and collections strategies.

 Equifax Address Check is the first to provide this information  at a household rather than a postcode level, and this level of detail will be invaluable to lenders in gaining a better understanding of their existing and potential customers to comply with ‘know your customer’ requirements.

 The solution runs detailed analysis of various Equifax databases against a lender’s book of customers and prospects. Lenders can then view the Address Check flags via a bespoke dashboard providing an overview of their potential exposure. Cases are categorised by risk level and the system will identify why an address has been flagged as higher risk so that cases can be clearly prioritised. The dashboard allows lenders to easily view all the information so that they can use the insights across their application and customer management functions.

 John Marsden, Head of Identity and Fraud at Equifax, said:  “If one single home address is connected to an exceptionally high level of accounts it will often mean higher levels of diligence is required. While some properties may be heavily populated, the data often means that the property has a higher tendency to be used for fraud or money laundering and indeed, we need to consider whether the occupants of the home are overextending themselves by taking on too much debt. The reasons for excessive activity at an address could of course be genuine, but lenders need to be able to properly investigate and determine the right course of action.

 “A key focus for both the financial industry and its regulators is the fight against financial crime. The Fourth Money Laundering Directive comes in in June 2017 and our new solution is another way we can help our clients demonstrate they have the appropriate checks in place to guard against and monitor suspicious activity.”