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one year on

Transfer scams

It’s been a year since we filled our super-complaint calling on the regulator and industry to better protect consumers from bank transfer scams.

Now, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has announced it intends to publish an update on what progress has been made this November.

It was in December 2016 when the PSR responded to our super-complaint, telling the industry to do more to protect its customers. During this time consumers have continued to remain at risk from bank transfer fraud with many people losing life-changing sums of money to scammers.

The PSR estimated that at least tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of people fall victim to such schemes every year. In the first two weeks of launching our reporting tool in November 2016, more than 650 people told Which? they had lost over £5.5 million to bank transfer scams.

Our Money Expert, Gareth Shaw said:

‘The regulator must now clearly set out what progress has been made by banks, and what more they must do to ensure consumers who are tricked into making a payment to a fraudster are not left out of pocket.

‘Data sharing between banks and best practice standards must be agreed and adopted across the industry to make sure consumers are protected.’

We want to see clear progress on a number of measures including:

  • Robust guidelines for financial institutions to support victims of scams and the adoption of a best practice approach across the industry.
  • Banks to demonstrate how they will enhance data sharing to improve their response to bank transfer scams.
  • An update on the progress of Confirmation of Payee and a commitment to implement it swiftly.
  • A proposal to ensure consumers are not left out of pocket when they fall victim to a bank transfer scam.

While we wait to hear more from the regulator, we also know there is more banks can be doing themselves. In April this year we asked you to tell us about things you’ve seen banks doing differently since we raised this issue with them. And earlier this summer, we wrote to the banks asking them to set out what additional steps, beyond what the PSR has asked them to do, they have put in place to protect you. Find out more here.