Electronic Funds Transfer: Fraud

Treasury written question – answered at on 20 September 2022.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if she will make an estimate of the value of funds lost to push payment fraud in each of the last five years.

Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what (a) value and (b) proportion of funds lost due to push payment fraud have been repaid to consumers in each of the last five years.

Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of which banks have been impacted by push payment fraud (a) as a percentage of the impact as a whole, (b) over each of the past five years, in terms of (i) being host to the accounts where funds have been lost to this fraud, and (ii) being the host bank of accounts perpetrating this fraud.

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government recognises the growing threat posed to consumers by Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, with increasingly sophisticated scams that can be detrimental to people’s lives. The Government is committed to tackling fraud within payments networks. That is why the Government has introduced legislation as part of the Financial Services & Markets Bill to enable the PSR to require payment service providers to reimburse APP scam victims. The Government believes this will ensure more consistent and comprehensive reimbursement for future APP scam victims.

Currently, data relating to the amounts lost and returned following APP scams is collected by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and by UK Finance. The latter regularly issues this data in publications such as its Annual Fraud Report: in 2021 for instance, UK Finance recorded gross annual losses of roughly £583 million, an increase of 39% by value over 2020, of which roughly £271 million (46%) was returned to victims. Due to changes in how APP scams are identified and reported, UK Finance note that data for years prior to 2020 is not directly comparable. More comprehensive data on APP scams can be found in UK Finance’s 2022 Fraud Report:

www.ukfinance.org.uk/policy-and-guidance/reports-and-publications/annual-fraud-report-2022

More specific data regarding the impact of APP scams on individual payment service providers does not usually form a part of these publications. However, as detailed in its 2021 consultation on APP scams, the PSR has proposed requiring the 12 largest groups of UK payment service providers (including the main High Street banks) to publish a balanced scorecard of APP scam data on a six-monthly basis, setting out their individual performance in relation to APP scams. This would include their APP scam rates, their rates of reimbursement for customers scammed, as well as comparative data on the providers receiving APP scam payments. The PSR expect the provision of this data to provide strong reputational incentives on payment service providers to reduce APP scam losses incurred by consumers, both through preventing APP scams and reimbursing those who are scammed. The PSR will respond to this consultation in due course.

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