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Authorised Push Payments Scam Code: The Banks Still Lagging Behind

Ross Kelly


Authorised Push Payments Scam

More than £200 million is lost every year in the UK due to authorised push payments scam techniques.

A host of major banks are still to implement measures that protect customers who fall victim to fraudsters, according to research by consumer organisation Which?

On May 28th this year the Authorised Push Payments Scam Code officially came into force, which makes it easier for victims of bank transfer scams to retrieve their lost cash.

However, as of this month, 12 major banks and building societies (out of approximately 27) have still not signed up to the scheme, which could potentially leave millions of customers at risk of fraud.

More than £200 million is lost every year in the UK due to authorised push payments scam techniques. Despite such significant losses to consumer accounts each year, just a small fraction – around one fifth – was returned last year.

In many cases, criminals pose as trusted organisations, such as a bank or HM Revenue & Customs to trick consumers into sending funds.

Under the new code, victims that are acknowledged as having lost money through ‘no fault of their own’ will be reimbursed – with compensation paid for by their own bank or the bank that received the money.

Jenny Ross, money editor at Which? said: “People’s lives are being derailed evert day as life-changing sums of money are lost to bank transfer fraud, so it’s incredibly concerning to see so many banks not yet signed up to this vital code.

“If the code is to deliver results for victims of fraud, all providers need to now urgently work towards implementing it – any more time wasted could result in millions more being lost as a result of this devastating crime.”

Which banks still haven’t signed up?

Of the 12 banks that are still to adhere to the newly-introduced code, nine told Which? they were currently working toward implementing the new system.

Some of those working toward this include:

  • Monzo
  • Tesco Bank
  • Virgin Money
  • Co-operative Bank
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • Citibank
  • Yorkshire Bank
  • Post Office Money
  • Bank of Ireland.

The Co-operative Bank told the consumer organisation that it would implement the code by September this year, while Monzo said the code would be implemented ‘by the end of July’.

Despite these claims from the challenger bank, implementation is still to come. In contrast, fellow challenger, Starling Bank, has already committed to the new code.

No other banks that Which? spoke to committed to a clear-cut timeline in regards to the implementation of the new code. Three banks, which include Danske Bank, First Trust Bank and N26 said they were “still assessing what becoming a signatory involves”, according to Which?

The consumer rights group praised TSB’s response to the growing issue of APP scams, claiming that it had “gone beyond the requirements of the code” when committing to compensate any customer who falls victim to a banking scam.

Which banks do follow the new code?

Luckily for many consumers, a host of major banks in the UK do adhere to the new code protecting customers. These include, but are not limited to, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society and Santander.

A comprehensive list of banks that have implemented the new consumer code can be found via the Which? website.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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