IFB would obtain information on suspected frausters outside of usual data protection procedures

The Insurance Fraud Bureau is seeking to negotiate an agreement with police forces across the UK to slash the bureaucracy that hinders information swaps about suspected fraudsters.

The agreement would enable the IFB, which this week published its new three-year strategy, to obtain information from forces without having to make a formal request under data protection rules. The bureau already has such agreements with some police forces.

The information-sharing initiative is designed to underpin the IFB’s drive to curb motor application fraud, identified in the strategy as an increased area of focus for the IFB over the next three years.

The plan, outlined at a meeting with member companies at the ABI this week, seeks a 25% increase in the IFB’s budget to £2.8m in 2012, rising by a further £150,000 in 2013.

The extra cash will enable the IFB to double its headcount, which the organisation’s outgoing director Glen Marr said would enable it to make better use of its existing fraud detection software.

Using the extra capacity, the IFB has set a goal of netting half of the sophisticated fraud rings operating in the UK, compared to the estimated 20% that it currently snares. Each of these fraud rings is responsible for hundreds of claims or thousands of bogus applications, Marr said.

The strategy also splits the IFB’s board into two bodies, one consisting of directors who report directly to chief officers and another, more
technical, group to handle more bread and butter issues.