Law to Protect Against Bank Transfer Scams

The Financial Services and Markets Bill announced in the Queen’s speech in May 2022 includes measures to better protect scam victims, by making sure the victims are reimbursed if they’ve been tricked into transferring money to a fraudster.

in the past two years, Scammers stole more than £854 million through bank transfer scams (also known as Push Payment Scams and Push Payment Fraud). Forty-two percent of this money was reimbursed by the banks, as the banks have been able to decide whether or not to return the money lost depending on how the scam was carried out.

Which? has been campaigning for the government to stamp out scams since 2015; and in January 2022, they repeated their call for stronger protections for fraud victims after finding more than £700,000 is lost to bank transfer scams every day.

Currently, many banks have signed up to a voluntary reimbursement code, but victims of bank transfer scams face a lottery depending who they bank with, with concerns about it being applied inconsistently.

However, under the new bill, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) can force banks to reimburse authorised push payments (APP) scam losses.

The bill is also set to cover:

  • revoking retained EU law on financial services
  • replacing it with an approach to regulation designed for the UK updating the objectives of the financial services regulators
  • a greater focus on growth and international competitiveness
  • reforming the rules that regulate the UK’s capital markets to promote investment.

No timeframe has been announced yet for the passage of the bill through the House of Commons.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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