Finance industry stops £1.4bn in attempted fraud

Written by Adam Cadle

Banks and card companies prevented £1,458.60m in unauthorised financial fraud last year, equivalent to £2 in every £3 of attempted unauthorised fraud being stopped, latest data from UK Finance has shown.

In 2017, fraud losses on payment cards fell 8% year-on-year to £566m. At the same time, card spending increased by 7%, meaning card fraud as a proportion of spending equates to 7.0p for every £100 spent – the lowest level since 2012. In 2016 the figure stood at 8.3p.

The unauthorised fraud data on payment cards, remote banking and cheques for 2017 shows combined total losses fell by 5% to £731.8m, losses due to unauthorised transactions on payment cards fell 8 per cent year-on-year to £566m.

The industry helped prevent £984.9m in attempted unauthorised card fraud. Losses due to unauthorised remote banking fraud totalled £156.1m, a 14% rise on 2016. Banks prevented £261.4m of unauthorised remote banking fraud, 27% more than last year.

Cheque fraud losses fell 28% in 2017 to £9.8m. This is the lowest annual total on record. £212.3m of attempted unauthorised cheque fraud was prevented.

There were 1,910,490 reported cases of unauthorised financial fraud, a rise of 3% compared to the year before.

The new authorised push payment scams data, collected for the first time in 2017, showed there were 43,875 reported cases of authorised push payment scams with a total value of £23m. Eighty eight per cent of this total were retail consumers, losing an average of £2,784, and the remainder were businesses who lost on average £24,355 per case.

Financial providers were able to return £60.8m (26%) of the authorised push payment scam losses in 2017.

UK Finance managing director of economic crime Katy Worobec said: “Fraud is an issue that affects the whole of society, and one which everyone must come together to tackle. The finance industry is committed to playing its part – investing in advanced security systems to protect customers, introducing new standards on how banks respond to scam victims, and working with the Joint Fraud Taskforce to deter and disrupt criminals and better trace, freeze and return stolen funds.

“We are also supporting the Payment Systems Regulator on its complex work on authorised push payment scams, providing the secretariat for its new steering group. It’s a challenging timetable, but it is important that we get it right to stop financial crime and for the benefit of customers.”

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