With Acquis Lumia, the fight against asset finance fraud is gathering momentum, but it doesn’t stop there, collaboration across our industry has the potential to unlock more benefits for the sector as a whole.

With over 30 portfolios on its register, covering an estimated £20 billion of lending and 400,000 agreements, and another 14 implementing the solution,  Acquis Lumia has proved itself to be a real game changer in the fight against fraud in asset finance. But as we near tipping point for Lumia, it’s not just fraud prevention where we can see the benefits of industry collaboration.

When Lumia launched in 2022, the aim was to provide a centralised platform where lessors could identify suspicious or irregular balance sheet borrowing on a large scale. At the time there wasn’t anything else in the market that could fill this gap, but for the platform to work it had to have industry buy-in. Fraud is undoubtedly an issue that we face as a business lending community and the rate of sign-up to Acquis Lumia demonstrates the commitment of the industry to fighting the threat. With lenders including HSBC, Lombard and Siemens Financial Services all joining this collaborative effort, the industry can begin to widen its defences and identify fraud before it begins. As Julian Hobbs, CEO at SFS said: “Acquis Lumia has the opportunity to be a real catalyst for change and demonstrates the industry’s desire to work together to deliver an innovative solution.”

Collaboration from the industry can not only provide valuable insights to prevent fraud but can help lenders identify earlier warnings of customer distress before it becomes a wider problem. By working together across the asset finance industry, underwriters, credit managers and risk managers alike are not just able to prevent and identify fraud earlier, they can also recognise borrowing trends that may require further investigation. Ian Isaac, Managing Director of Lombard added: “Acquis Lumia personifies collaboration. It’s helping the industry unite towards a common cause, and it’s only right that we join this action. The industry can do more together to fight fraud, and Lumia is a simple solution that does this – it made perfect sense for us to get on board and demonstrate our commitment to working together.”

“There is tremendous value in the data. Lending always carries an element of risk, but by uniting and providing us all with market-wide data, lessors can be more confident in their decisions. To not get involved would be risking the future health of our industry, we’re delighted to be an early adopter.”

To this end, Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) Chair John Phillipou alluded to this in his address at the Annual Dinner earlier this year. He emphasised how collaborative efforts within the asset finance sector will be key to improving industry practices around fraud and beyond: “We have seen some important collaboration among members to prevent fraud and improve oversight, and I would encourage more members to join this service as together we are stronger.”

Striving for full industry collaboration is still key to improving lending decisions.  If you look across other sectors in financial services, you’ll see similar collaborations which are vital to their own sectors. And Acquis Lumia is just the start of the story in our industry – by providing a unique opportunity for the industry to make informed lending decisions based on a holistic market view. With every portfolio shared through Lumia, we get another step closer to full industry collaboration and closer to a point where we can finally be confident that we can identify and mitigate the risks threatening our sector.

Collaboration with competitors in business is not an easy thing to do, but if we know that it will ultimately make us a more profitable and secure industry, it has to be a good incentive to work more closely together.