UK banks halt £820m of fraud in the first half of 2019
The UK banking industry stopped £820 million in unauthorised fraud in the first half of 2019, an increase of 14% from 2018, according to fraud statistics released by trade association UK Finance.
Banks and financial institutions managed to stop £4.5 million worth of fraudulent payments every day over the first six months of the year. Despite this, criminals still managed to get away with £616 million, with £208 million of that figure lost due to authorised push payments (APP) fraud.
Customer details are being stolen through data breaches at third parties outside the financial sector, says UK Finance, while sophisticated attacks are being used to steal card data when consumers are shopping online.
Total losses due to unauthorised fraud across payment cards, remote banking and cheques in the first half of 2019 amounted to £408 million, up 2% on the same period in 2018.
“The finance industry is constantly investing in advanced security systems to protect customers from this threat, while helping law enforcement to apprehend and disrupt the criminals responsible,” says Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance.
“However, criminals are continuing to exploit vulnerabilities outside the financial sector to obtain customers’ data that is then used to commit fraud. We all have a responsibility to work together, including online retailers and social media companies, to beat the fraudsters and keep customers’ data secure.”
A total of £208 million was lost to APP fraud, split between personal (£147 million) and business (£61 million) accounts. Financial providers were able to return a total of £39.3 million of the losses to victims, split between personal (£25.6 million) and business (£13.6 million) accounts.
“We know APP scams can have a devastating impact on the people who fall victim,” says Chris Hemsley, managing director of the Payment Systems Regulator, in an emailed statement. “That’s why the new industry code, which came into force at the end of May this year, is so important in giving people protections they’ve never had before.
“Today’s report demonstrates why the industry needs to continue driving forward other initiatives to stop frauds from happening in the first place – and Confirmation of Payee will be one of those important, additional steps to protecting people.”