Win! Reimbursement scheme for victims of bank transfer scams announced

In a big win for our scams campaign, the Payments Systems Regulator has announced plans to reimburse victims of bank transfer scams.

After months of waiting, today the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has finally published its promised update on what progress has been made since we issued it with our super-complaint last year.

It has been announced that, from the 1 January 2018, people who’ve been victims of a bank transfer scam will only need to deal with their bank when making a complaint – not the bank the fraudster was with.This means that banks will provide access to a dedicated team of staff trained to deal with scams.

However, the big news is that the PSR is also consulting on a reimbursement scheme for people who are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster when their bank failed to do enough to protect them.

Our Chief Executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, said:

‘A year on from our super-complaint, it’s good to see the regulator coming down on the side of consumers. If this stops the huge amounts of money lost to bank transfer scams, it’ll be a significant win.

‘To make this a reality, the regulator must now ensure any reimbursement scheme properly compensates victims. Meanwhile, banks must move to quickly put in place better checks and protections to prevent these scams happening in the first place.’

Next steps on scams

This is a huge step forward and something that we’ve been calling for, alongside our 360,000 supporters who’ve so far backed our scams campaign.

Since we launched our campaign, we’ve heard from thousands of people who’ve lost life-changing sums of money through bank transfer scams, and the impact it has had on them. Introducing a reimbursement scheme could ensure that more people aren’t left out of pocket when they’ve been a victim of this type of fraud.

And the first set of data that shows the scale of this type of fraud demonstrates why this is a vital move. A staggering £100m was lost to bank transfer scams in the first six months of this year. And nearly three quarters of this was never returned to the victims.

The PSR’s actions in response to our super-complaint will go a long way to tackling these scams. However, if banks are going to solve this problem and really protect their customers, they must also look at what other steps they can take to stop these scams from happening in the first place.