We prevented fraud in 2016 through our core business – sharing data and intelligence, protecting individuals from identity theft and working collaboratively with partners. We also enhanced this through the introduction of multiple new products for members to help them use our fraud data in new and innovative ways.
Our not-for-profit status means that we can keep our subscription fees fair and ensure Cifas membership is cost-effective. This means that and for the fourth year running, our subscription rates for the National Fraud Database did not increase and we kept costs low. And for every £1 spent on membership, our members saw a return of £165. As a result, the hundreds of organisations who use us to protect them and their customers from fraud and financial crime continued to receive significant benefits as a result of their Cifas membership. We also continued to offer free protection to some of the most vulnerable by working with local authorities on our Protecting the Vulnerable scheme.
We collaborated with a diverse range of partners throughout the year. We played an active role in government taskforces such as the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce and the Home Office Joint Fraud Taskforce. We were a proud partner with FFA UK in the ‘Take Five’ campaign to raise general public awareness of fraud and we saw our Data to Go film selected as a finalist in the Campaign Big awards, recognising it as one of the top six financial campaigns in the UK.
As we know, 2016 was a busy year for politics and policy. To coordinate responses to the European General Data Protection Regulation and support our membership we set up a cross-sector working group to discuss implications of EU data protection reform, and the impact of sharing data on vulnerable customers. Our policy efforts were further recognised when our Fraud Fringe event at party conferences, aimed at raising awareness of fraud issue among policy makers, received the award for Fringe Event of the Year.
The integrity of our data is fundamental to everything we do. Our members and the public need to have confidence that we are storing data securely and in accordance with the correct standards and evidence. We, in turn, need to have confidence that our members are filing cases correctly. In 2016 we introduced a new approach to compliance for members, moving from annual reviews to a more regular, risk-based approach.
Simon Dukes – Cifas Chief Executive