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Banks to be given autonomy in reimbursing APP fraud victims

Banks to be given autonomy in reimbursing APP fraud victims

UK Finance has announced a change to the process of reimbursing ‘no blame’ cases of authorised push payment (APP) scams, bringing in a process which enables signatory banks to individually pay back cases rather than through a shared central pot.

This new arrangement comes as the industry renews its call for a multi-stakeholder approach to tackling the root causes of APP fraud, which rose to £479 million in 2020, as criminals used the Covid-19 pandemic to target people online.

APP no blame scam cases were previously funded through an interim arrangement, where seven banks and building societies provide funding into a central ‘no blame’ pot - with the signatory banks directly refunding customers in such cases, and then claiming it back from the pot.

The CRM Code is supported by nine banks that represent 85% of the traffic on the UK Faster Payment real-time system. In the first six months of 2020, the banks averaged 40% reimbursement with TSB averaging 99% and two banks reimbursing less than 10%.

The UK's Payment System Regulator recently closed a consultation on APP bank scams and is expected to report back in September. One option up for review is to make reimbursements mandatory at a minimum standard by changing payment system rules.

UK Finance is advocating for the Government to include economic crime in scope of the Online Safety Bill. This would make tech companies responsible for protecting consumers from the threat of fraude.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, says: “The interim funding pot was originally set up because we had asked that government and regulators work with industry to find a long-term solution to funding of ‘no blame’ cases, involving other sectors like online platforms, which are used by criminals to perpetrate the fraud, contributing to reimbursing the customer. Sadly, that is yet to happen.”

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