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Acquis Data Services is to launch a register of asset finance borrowing designed to provide a clear insight into a customer’s lending exposure, alerting lenders to possible fraudulent activity. Called Acquis Lumia, it will be available to lenders in the leasing industry for a modest subscription fee, with no charge during 2022 and until the platform has sufficient reach to deliver real value.

Acquis said the solution is unique in the asset finance industry, having been born out of industry wide consensus to tackle the fraud problem, and will bring together a wider selection of lending data to address the issue than ever before. It is designed to assist asset finance providers to identify suspicious or irregular balance-sheet borrowing on a large scale, and has been developed in consultation with a working party of leading players in the UK’s asset finance industry.

Nick Leader, CEO, Acquis said: “Recent high profile fraud investigations have underlined what we all know is an unfortunate reality in the asset finance industry. Fraud is an ever-present threat. It’s estimated that as many as 50 asset finance lenders recently fell victim to a major financial crime of this nature, with many now facing significant financial losses. There are tools and processes in existence to help avoid and reduce fraudulent activity, but the reality is none of them provide a wide enough view across the asset finance lending market. More needs to be done to tackle the issues and offer asset finance lenders better insight and visibility to counter it.”

Leader continued: “There are at least six credit reference agencies being used by the industry to try to spot suspicious activity, but the reality is no single agency possesses enough market share to provide the level of oversight needed. By looking at a borrower’s overall asset finance exposure we can provide early warnings for potentially suspicious behaviour based on borrowers’ balance sheets.”

Leader concluded: “We have been partnering with an industry working party to deliver what will be an effective tool to lenders. The solution is simple, deliverable and will provide value quickly if the industry comes together and adopts it on a large enough scale. We are very sensitive to the impact of fraud on our clients. We are looking forward to unveiling the details and getting started on the roll out very soon.”