Last Wednesday, the Payment Systems Regulator set out its plans for the design and development of an industry code to better protect people from bank transfer scams and provide a reimbursement scheme to help victims. Here, our guest, Paul Smith, the regulator’s head of policy, explains what it means..
Authorised push payment (APP) or bank transfer scams can have a devastating impact on peoples’ lives and we, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), want to make sure everyone is protected.
In the first six months of 2017, over £100m was stolen fraudulently as a result of people being tricked into transferring thousands of pounds to fraudsters. Our new plans are about protecting people by trying to prevent APP scams from happening in the first place and ensuring that banks help customers more effectively when, unfortunately, they do happen.
We’ve set out how we consider the issue can best be tackled, including through a new industry code, backed by the right for customers to raise complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). This will be in place by September 2018, paving the way for victims of APP scams to have better protection.
From September 2018, the FOS can take this code into account as a relevant consideration when determining new complaints about APP scams. This means that victims of APP scams can be confident any claim for reimbursement will be given fairer consideration.
September isn’t that far away and so, to help us achieve our challenging timeline, we’ve set up a steering group made up of both consumer and industry representatives.
We know it’s important to bring together the right people to design the code and collaborate to deliver something that helps prevent these scams and works for everyone. The group will start their work this month, and Which? has agreed to be a member, representing consumers.
This is a complex piece of work and there is a lot to do from now until September, but it is essential we see, as soon as possible, a code that is effective in protecting people.
But the design of that code won’t be the end of the matter. Fraud is constantly changing and we expect the code will continue to evolve to keep pace in giving everyone the protection they need.
This is a guest contribution by Paul Smith. All views expressed here are Paul’s own and not necessarily those also shared by Which?.
What do you think about the PSR’s plans to introduce a new code to better protect people against bank transfer scams? What measures would you like to see be included in the code?