The banking operation of UK retailer Sainsbury's has announced plans for a £3.5 million investment to tackle rising levels of cash machine skimming fraud.
Sainsbury’s says the security upgrade will entail the introduction of extensive CCTV monitoring and the installation of new anti-skimming devices across its network of 885 cash machines.
The retailer says it is introducing the new security technology in response to an upward shift in ATM fraud UK-wide. Sainsbury's points to recent figures from bank payments body Apacs which show that the value of cash machine fraud during the first three months of 2006 was £21.4 million, an increase of 54% when compared to the corresponding period in 2005.
Sainsbury’s own analysis of industry data reveals that between 1996 and 2005, the value of cash machine fraud grew by on average 37% a year. It also estimates that between 2000 and 2005, the amount of money stolen through this crime increased by 260%.
Kevin Barrett, head of channels at Sainsbury’s Bank says: "ATM fraud is a growing problem and one that we take very seriously. We are committed to ensuring that through major investment in CCTV and new anti-skimming devices, our cash machines are among the safest in the country."
He says ATM skimming using counterfeit cards accounts for the greatest proportion of cash machine fraud in the UK.