William Dooley
Senior Associate Solicitor
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Date Published:11 Feb 2021 Last Updated:21 Sep 2021

CIFAS Markers – What are your options?

Banking & Finance Litigation

CIFAS Markers

CIFAS markers can be registered by financial institutions against individuals and could result in difficulty accessing credit, or completely destroy a credit rating for up to 6 years. The consequences can therefore be devastating, particularly when a customer is innocent of any wrong-doing.

Where a customer is innocent, they may struggle to understand the reason behind a CIFAS marker being registered against them. This is because financial institutions themselves are reluctant to disclose the reasons, and CIFAS may need to be approached to obtain further information.

What is CIFAS

Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System, or “CIFAS” for short, is an organisation that offers fraud prevention services for the financial services industry, including the management of a database which documents suspected fraudulent conduct in the UK. Various organisations share their data, with the aim of reducing fraud and crime. Most financial institutions are members of CIFAS and use CIFAS to consider the risks associated with a potential customer.

Having a CIFAS marker means an application for credit by an individual or company is likely to be subjected to further checks, and may well make obtaining credit more difficult. These measures can have a serious impact on mortgage applications, existing banking facilities and arrangements, business finance, personal loans, overdrafts and credit card applications.

Can CIFAS markers be removed?

A CIFAS marker can be challenged and removed, although the process can be difficult. Should an institution that applied for the CIFAS marker refuse to remove it, then there is an adjudication process. Redress can also be sought through the Financial Ombudsman Service.

How Can Ellis Jones Help?

Ellis Jones’ Banking & Finance Litigation solicitors have specialist knowledge and expertise across a broad range of areas. We act for a broad range of commercial clients in disputes with financial institutions and have recovered in excess of £60 million on their behalves.

If you feel you may have a valid challenge to a CIFAS marker please contact either William Dooley or William Fox Bregman in our Banking and Financial Litigation team by calling 01202 057733. Alternatively, please email us at banking@ellisjones.co.uk. We offer proportionate and transparent fee structures to help with your claim, and can progress a FOS complaint or court claim against your insurer on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis, subject to the merits of your dispute.