News Article


Student Loans Company the latest and largest public body to fight fraud through CIFAS

By CreditMan Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is the latest, and largest, public sector organisation to join CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service.

The SLC provides loans and grants to over one million students annually, in colleges and universities across the four education systems of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is also responsible for repayments by 3 million former students. By joining CIFAS, the SLC will be able to screen out false identities and by searching the CIFAS National Fraud Database double-check whether an applicant has committed fraud in the past.

In addition, where SLC’s own fraud prevention professionals have identified a fraudulent application, they will be able to record that case on the National Fraud Database, helping over 250 Member organisations to prevent any further fraud committed by the same individual. During the past five years, CIFAS Member organisations have prevented over £4.1 billion of attempted fraud by sharing information in this way.

The SLC’s membership of CIFAS follows the Legal Services Commission and Financial Services Authority both of which have joined CIFAS since 2010.

Welcoming the SLC’s membership, CIFAS Chief Executive, Peter Hurst, said: “We look forward to working with the SLC which is the largest public sector provider of loans. There will be a strong deterrent effect as all our research suggests that fraudsters target both private and public sector organisations not participating in CIFAS far more than those who are Members.”

Heather Laing, Fraud Prevention and Detection Manager at the Student Loans Company, said: "As a government organisation, we have an obligation to ensure that student funds are paid to all eligible students. We have joined CIFAS to allow us to exchange fraudulent applicant data to help prevent fraud. Investing in fraud prevention activity offers the opportunity to protect student funds, without reducing services to genuine applicants".