Case study

Altia’s specialist technology deployed by councils to tackle tenancy fraud

Specialist technology is being used by local councils to combat tenancy fraud, saving them countless hours in analysing thousands of cases each year.

Developed by investigative tech firm, Altia, the Financial Investigation Toolkit has supported South West London Fraud Partnership (SWLFP) in reducing analysis times by up to 90%, with reviews taking 10 minutes on average rather than several hours.

The software’s positive results come after 148K social housing homes in England were subject to tenancy fraud throughout 2023, representing 1-in-20 of all social homes across London, and costing the public purse an estimated £155m.*

The challenge

  • Tenancy fraud is a known concern and the finite supply of social housing means councils are having to pay significant costs for temporary accommodation.

  • Every time a social housing unit is recovered through the identification of fraudulent use, housing costs are reduced and secure accommodation can be provided to a genuine family in need.

  • SWLFP is a shared fraud investigation service for five London Boroughs and looks after over 55,000 social housing dwellings.

  • Case referrals were increasing and there was a growing need need to seek recovery through the courts, requiring more in-depth scrutiny and analysis of bank material.

The solution

With SWLFP seeing a 50% increase in its own case referrals, the toolkit enabled them to automate the process of analysing information using Financial Investigation Toolkit, allowing them to build reports for clear, compelling cases which should be investigated further.

The software automatically uploads bank statements or other records into an excel format which is ready for analysis, while it also automates the visualisation of flows between accounts being investigated, showing their size and scale.

As a result, SWLFP has been able to reallocate its resources more effectively and focus on where the most pressing action is required.

A representative of SWLFP, said:

“By automating the process of finding links in financial data to demonstrate the need for further information and an interview under caution, Altia’s Financial Investigation Toolkit has helped us work more cases and focus our resources on the most complex investigation work.

“We’ve even been able to expand this work beyond tenancy fraud. One case that has been a particular success is where the analysis through the Toolkit and quick reports showed a pattern of a carer withdrawing and transferring funds to his account from the person he was charged with caring for.

“We are now hoping to use the output reports generated for cases where prosecution is being considered.”

The results

Within six months of using Financial Investigation Toolkit, the management team could see three main benefits:

  • Time saving: the automation, reduced the time spent on financial analysis by about 90%.
  • Clarity: there was an increase in the number of cases that were suitable for an interview under caution.
  • Compelling information: the detailed reports in graphs, tables and pivot tables means the service is looking to use the output as evidence in criminal cases.

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*Source: Fraud Advisory Panel

Reduced analysis time by 90%

Financial Investigation Toolkit

The benefits of Financial Investigation Toolkit include:

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) automatically produces digital data from paper-based records.

  • Automatically identify data in a wide variety of statements using data loaders.

  • One-click export for analysis and visualisation – with the most commonly used analysis pre-programmed into quick reports.

  • Automatically sort, count, total or average financial data ensuring consistency and thoroughness.

  • Ability to create your own rules so you can quickly isolate sections of data to analysis.

Uncover trends, patterns and relationships in financial data.

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