UK-based credit reference agency Experian has launched a new Web-based Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) name-matching service. The site is designed to help financial organisations comply with US Treasury Department requirements to block potential criminal access to lending and credit-granting resources.
The new Web site will provide financial institutions with access to Experian's File One Database. The Treasury's Department's listing of 'specially designated nationals and blocked persons', identified by the government as dangerous and a threat to national security, is downloaded monthly to an Ofac name table maintained in the Experian File One Database.
The Ofac service uses the consumer's name as provided on the loan application and matches it against the Ofac name table in File One. If there's an exact match, an Ofac indicator message is returned on the report. If no match is determined, then no statement is delivered.
Laura DeSoto, vice president of product management and marketing for Experian's information solutions group, says: "While Experian's service cannot guarantee if a financial services' customer and someone on the Ofac list who shares the same name is, in fact, the same person, it does provide a warning flag indicating further investigation should be considered."