The Payment Systems Regulator has announced it is consulting on plans to reimburse victims of bank transfer scams. While it’s a huge step forward, there is still more to do.
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.
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.
Fraud prevention systems
Some banks are already updating their systems to try to crack down on bank transfer scams before they happen. Just last week, Lloyds introduced Fraud Checkpoint, which is a set of pop-up questions on its online banking site that prompts customers to think about whether a fraudster is trying to trick them into transferring money by posing as the bank or police.
Barclays has also recently launched a new online fraud prevention service, so customers tricked into transferring money to a fraudster using online banking can get support faster to fix the situation.
We know there is no silver bullet to solving this problem – it will involve everyone working together to tackle and continually review the weaknesses that fraudsters exploit to trick people. But a year on from our super-complaint, this announcement is a significant win for consumers if it starts to halt the flow of money currently lost to bank transfer scams.
What do you think of the PSR’s action? Do you think the proposed reimbursement scheme will properly compensate bank transfer scam victims? What other solutions would you like to see put in place?