/ Money, Technology

Should banks refund victims of online fraud?

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

The Times reports that Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said victims of online fraud should no longer be refunded by banks if they fail to protect themselves.

With online fraud increasing, this is an astonishingly misjudged proposal from the Met Police Commissioner.

Sir Bernard on bank fraud

The front page of The Times reports that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said:

‘If you are continually rewarded for bad behaviour you will probably continue to do it but if the obverse is true you might consider changing behaviour. To be fair to the banks, if one says they’ll do it and the others don’t that’s a competitive advantage.

‘The system is not incentivising you to protect yourself. If someone said to you, “If you’ve not updated your software I will give you half back”, you would do it.’

However, the priority should be for banks to better protect their customers, rather than trying to shift blame on to the victims of fraud.

Reimburse fraud victims

Of course, it’s vital to educate consumers about how to avoid fraud, but suggesting that banks could make people more security-conscious by refusing to reimburse fraud victims risks sending the wrong signal about the banks’ own crucial role in preventing crime.

We know that scammers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to defraud people out of their money, in many cases beyond the control of consumers.

We believe that banks should be doing more to improve their security processes and systems, share their intelligence to prevent fraudulent activity, and support their customers when they fall victim to crime.

Banks inconsistent with fraud

In September 2015, we found that banks were inconsistent when dealing with fraud. A Freedom of Information request revealed that the Financial Ombudsman Service uphold around one in four complaints relating to fraud and disputed transactions in favour of the customer, stating that in many cases banks have based their decisions ‘on a hunch’, without conducting a full investigation.

The Met has since clarified Sir Bernard’s comments, saying that he also agrees banks need to consider investing more in their security systems. However, if banks did not have to reimburse victims, what incentive would they have to protect their customers from fraud in the first place?

Should banks reimburse victims of online fraud?

Yes (97%, 28,600 Votes)

No (1%, 424 Votes)

Don't know (1%, 403 Votes)

Total Voters: 29,427

Loading ... Loading ...
robert pilsbry says:
30 March 2016

this is just another crime that the police cannot be bothered to solve they are just getting lazy mite have to stop ridding about in their cars and do some proper police work

Carol says:
30 March 2016

I worked for a bank for 30 years. Fraud was unknown when I first started working but by the end it was an every day occurrence!! I never knew of an occasion where a customer did not get refunded when a fraud had taken place on their account or cards. People must take some responsibility for their actions especially online where scans are rife & sometimes subtle. I was embarrassed that a few months ago I was scammed online. I didnt scream & shout for a refund. When its your fault you should pay the price!!

Elli says:
31 March 2016

Of course you should be reimbursed! The banks commit fraud on a daily basis and we the public had to bail them out. What they aren’t telling you is there is a problem internally with bank fraud which is often covered up as they don’t want you to know about it.

Debashis De says:
31 March 2016

Its easy for “Sir” Bernard Hogan Rowe to be blase about such comments – instead of supporting Capitalist Exploiters perhaps he spend more time in opposing government cuts to services, mainly the Police. And support the front-line police, who are honest and support all peoples against the scourge of Crime – but specifically in this case financial fraud.


Safest way to protect your savings in 2016 with 0.5 interest rates (going negative ) , your real money being taken and using virtual money, your society controlled , by banksters who can withhold your money citing computer failure etc , the full intention of the UK government to implement a “cashless “society controlling you completely will be banks+HMG so that you cant complain ,cant revolt, but must accept “orders “from above ?? hide it under the floorboards and use cash in transactions . Is it any co-incidence that the new £1 coin will be many sided just like the old threepenny bit and probably end up the same value. Think who makes the most profit from low interest rates from the publics point of view ?–And a mark was set upon their heads so that only those with this mark could buy and sell and if you didnt have that mark then you starve , and the mark was the number of man the number —-666 –aka the number of the “Beast ” .


Duncan – £1 vs 3d? It’s already there. I remember in the black and white days when 3d would buy you a bag of chips. Now they cost at least £1 (in the affluent south, anyway). Fish was 1/-. Now around £4 – same inflation.

On the back of the 12 sided 3 pence piece was the plant “thrift”. We could do with a bit more of that these days. Perhaps we should lobby for it to be pictured on the reverse of the new pound?


HSBC has just announced that it will charge customers £30 for every thousand they have in a Cash ISA.


Might this be an April Fools’ joke?


I am sure you could almost Bank on it Wavechange 🙂