/ Money

Scam protection: FCA proposals will boost complaining power

The FCA has announced proposals to give victims of bank transfer scams more scope to make a complaint, and increase the powers of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

We’ve been campaigning for better protection since launching our super-complaint in September 2016. Under current regulations, you have no right to complain to the bank that received your funds if you think it hasn’t taken sufficient action, but this will soon change.

The proposed changes will also allow victims to escalate complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, so this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

Sophisticated fraudsters

Victims of this type of money transfer scam have told us that it can be a real struggle to get their complaints heard and to find out what has happened to their missing cash.

This is extremely distressing for people who have often lost life-changing sums to these increasingly sophisticated fraudsters.

We welcome the FCA’s announcement that gives victims new rights to ensure that the recipient banks and building societies are fully engaged in the complaints process and gives them the right to take their case to the Financial Ombudsman if they feel they have been treated unfairly.

Improving protection

In response to our 2016 super-complaint, the PSR set out an action plan to encourage great co-operation between banks, introduce anti-fraud measures and give victims more power to recover their funds. It also announced a contingent reimbursement scheme.

A ‘confirmation of payee’ tool is also due to be rolled out later this year, which will require banks to check the name provided on the transfer against its account records. If it doesn’t match, the customer will be alerted.

These developments and today’s proposals are welcome steps forward as we continue to call for the government, regulators and businesses to do as much as possible to safeguard us all from scams.

We don’t want to see banks getting let off the hook and scammers getting away with fraud. Agree? You can sign our campaign here.


Talking about one bank where I ask for a “clarity” credit card said NO!!!because my income is NOT supplie by a job!!as I am disable and survivor of cancer that put me of to use a credit card on foreign travel as I had to paid MORE to them!!!!!
Love you to!!!!!!

My daughter received an email supposedly from her letting agents (she is living with me at present, due to job relocation) asking her to pay for a new boiler. This was an email she was expecting from them and it provided the necessary banking details. She paid over £1,000. When the plumber/letteing agency hadn’t received the money, she checked her bank account to see that it had gone from her account. She telephoned Barclays immediately, which as out of normal working hours, and spoke to someone from another country, who said she would be contacted within 48 hours, which she was not. It turned out that someone had intercepted the letting agent’s email account and put in their bank details. When she hadn’t heard from Barclays within the 48 hours, she telephoned again and spoke to someone in this country. After they investigated, they said because she hadn’t used the actual word ‘fraud’, she would not be compensated in full. She gave all the details to the original person she spoke to. My daughter has only banked with Barclays and I have banked with them for over fifty years. I am appalled. She has had to pay the amount again with no compensation.

Not a nice story. However, I do not see that the bank was liable if they carried out your daughter’s instructions to transfer money to a specific account. You could argue the letting agent was partly to blame for lack of security on their email system.

Graham Duncan says:
5 July 2018

When I transfer money through HSBC they usually check the name of the payee against the Bank Account number to see that they match

I would say that in the case of Anne Huntriss’s daughter, the letting agency are wholly to blame for lax security, and proceedings should be taken against them. Unfortunately, unlike for solicitors, accountants and many other professionals, there is no supervisory or disciplinary body for letting agents. They should be banned from trading at the very least but there is no way of making that happen. If there is a home insurance policy in place there might be scope for legal action.

Barbara Napier says:
5 July 2018

Surely the banks know where the money is going in to, therefore there should be a delay before the amount can be withdrawn. The banks should be able to trace where the money has gone and were proper checks done when that account was opened?.

Kath Sallabank says:
5 July 2018

Once the bank knows the deal was fraudulent it is in a position to a) report the matter to police / banking authorities and b) pass on the details of the recipient to the authorities and hopefully c) communicate with the recipients bank with a view to withdrawing the amount from the fraudster’s account and replacing it in the account it was paid from.

The bank should set up a contact system via your mobile phone where they use a previously agreed password & ask you if the payment is legitimate.

kerry lee crabbe says:
5 July 2018

Banks should do SOMETHING — apart from charge us.

Tom says:
5 July 2018

Banks have always been at the front of IT technology based on my career of an IT Professional so I cannot understand why they do not have more security in place to safeguard their customers.

Maybe we should go back to having a period before each payment is completed, giving 3 days to cancel a payment or tranfer

My bank, and I’m sure others, allows for an online payment to be made immediately, or at a future date, and to cancel the payment before it is due. You can choose to do this when setting up a payment.

Bank scam transfers involve the victim’s account being the source of funds to another (scammers) account. Simply banks are facilitating the fraudulent transfer of money by allowing such accounts to be opened, used and maintained. If banks were made liable to re-imburse all such fraudulent transfers:
1. there would be no customer victims out of pocket
2. banks would have adequate incentive to properly police accounts, closing down those used for fraud.
Its not rocket science!

Banks are usually so thorough in checking the credentials of somebody applying for an account, so why are these fraudsters getting through the net? I believe they usually open an account for a week, withdraw all the scam money and then disappear off the face of the earth. The banks should stop the withdrawal of any money during that first week and make it a condition of opening the account.

I recently received a cheque made out to me for a share dividend for a few thousand pounds for a charity of which I’m the secretary, I tried to pay the cheque into the bank of the charity, but because it was A/C payee I couldn’t do that and had to put it into my own account and then transfer it by Internet Banking.
However Lloyd’s weren’t happy about me transferring that amount of money and asked me nearly two dozen questions about the transaction, apart from the usual ID questions, was I asked to transfer the money? did I know the account it was to be paid into and who was asking me to do that? etc.
So Lloyd’s are taking scam transfers seriously and doing due diligence, which I heartily endorse.

It shows how much these fraudulent transfers are occurring. Halifax transferred a four figure sum out of the country to Germany without any checks with my father some years ago.

Bank security, like any major organisation, is not good enough. They all ask us questions when making telephone contact and we can all get caught because when they call us there is no way we can verify who they are, unless we know the person we are speaking to. When they call us they should all be prepared to answer with a password we have given them to use, before the call goes any further, if they can’t or I don’t recognise the voice then I terminate the call. Their systems, including government ones, do not allow for us to give them a password, I have done it in emails and if they still fail to give it then I terminate the call. As for the scammers opening accounts, words fail me, elderly people in particular are put through the mill in proving who they are because the “stupid” rules don’t accept that a lot will not have a driving licence or passport. All organisations need to sort themselves out especially those that demand our date of birth, there is little if no need for it, which in most cases is not my real one, their data leaks.

As long as the banks are free of legal redress they will do nothing.
If they are custodians of OUR money they should be made responsible for its safekeeping.

John Taylor says:
5 July 2018

If the banks don’t know where the monies are going, isn’t it high time they began just a little research into tracking methods?

Colleen Smith says:
5 July 2018

My bank has rung me to ask if I wanted to make a certain transaction. Although I was miffed at the time because it delayed my buying some tickets, I thought it was the right thing to do really. I dare say banks can’t check on every transaction but perhaps the computer system can pick up on suspect ones if money is being siphoned to certain banks outside Britain.

Ted Ross says:
5 July 2018

For deaf customers Allbanks should offer text and/also emails. It is not clever to expect a dDeaf person to be able to pick up a phone and hear the message. How daft people are at times!!!

Forget the Ombudsman – you are just a small fish, the banks are the ones they care about. Got caught up in a Nigerian scam years ago, was ill advised by the bank manager and acted on his say so, and lost my money – but Ombudsman found against me … So between the two … !

Not all of us old buggers are daft, many of these scams are based around the “Get it for Free Bait” and greed does the rest, One You Do Not get owt for Now’t not ever. I know people who give their Pin Numbers to their pals to draw cash for them, Disclosing your Pin Number to another person is illegal read your card conditions.

Should a Bank be hacked and ripped of then they are guilty of failing to provide a secure system to protect your account and they must stand the reimbursement.

If someone is daft enough to give out his details to someone they do not know and then Draw cash which they give to another person they do not know, well they deserve to loose that cash unfortunately there are fools in this world who are looking for something for nothing, it wont happen..

Why cannot the banks simply check with their customer whenever large transfers are requested out of the customer’s account? In other words, start taking care of their customers who have invested their money in the bank.

I agree that banks not great at detecting fraud, did you know that few signatures on cheques are actually checked by the banks! I’ve not a lot of faith in the Ombudsman’s decisions either. Of 3 banks not checking fraudulent signatures, Ombudsman said only first 2 at fault because the banks complaint service was not used in the third instance.

Given the problems I seem to get opening bank accounts for non corporate bodies etc what checks are carried out on the scammers who actually manage to open bank accounts in UK banks? Is all their paperwork forged? Are they ever traced post a scam?

All this is fine if the financial ombudsman was up to the job. Remember the TV program which highlighted the Ombudsman’s short comings who’s staff automatically blamed the victim, because it was easier to do due the cultural defects within the organisation.

We have never had it happen to us thank goodness, but it must be devastating to people that have, especially admitting that you have been swindled. We just do not believe anybody anymore, we just hang the phone up and phishing style e:mails are deleted. We all have to on our guard,but having said that it really is time the banks bore responsibility for safeguarding their customers’ hard earned money.

Banks should delay payment on debit card transactions like thay do with chques maybe for 1 day