The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a proposed set of new rules that will make it easier for victims of bank transfer fraud, sometimes referred to as ‘authorised push payment’ fraud, to raise complaints with banks.
These steps are being taken after figures were released in March this year revealing the scale of bank transfer fraud in the UK for the first time. In its report, UK Finance announced that there were over 40,000 cases of authorised push payment fraud in 2017, with sums stolen from victims totalling over £230 million. Of the money stolen, only a quarter was recovered and returned to those who had been defrauded.
Bank transfer fraud is a scam whereby bank customers are duped into making payments to fraudsters who pose as bank employees, police, utility firms and solicitors, amongst others. Victims are often contacted by phone, text or email regarding ‘suspicious activity’ on their account or bank card, and are asked to authorise the transfer of money into a ‘safe account’ as a result. Criminals who are carrying out this type of fraud target both individual account holders and businesses. The figures released showed that individual victims lost on average £2,784 each, while businesses lost £24,355 on average.
As well as implementing rules on how such complaints should be handled, the FCA performs the role of the primary regulator for the financial markets in the UK. In situations where there is evidence of misconduct in the financial services industry, it has the power to bring criminal and regulatory enforcement proceedings against individuals and institutions. The FCA’s wide-ranging powers are used to investigate businesses or professional individuals accused of breaches of financial codes of conduct. The body can impose fines, withdraw or vary a firm or individual’s authorisation and issue financial penalties or warnings, supervisory and decision notices.
Wilford Smith’s team of experienced Fraud Solicitors have a well-earned reputation for excellence when it comes to representing clients undergoing investigations and enforcement proceedings by regulatory bodies. Our approach is exceptionally strategic and results-driven; our solicitors’ comprehensive knowledge and attention to detail mean that clients can conduct the most robust defence possible in response to accusations of fraud.
Wilford Smith’s Fraud Lawyers will ruthlessly develop a top-level strategy for you, working tirelessly to ensure that your personal position and the reputation of your business are protected. Getting the right legal support at the earliest stage of an investigation is vital – we can advise on and provide representation during interviews with investigators. We have many years of experience when it comes to handling fraud investigations and will work to ensure that this process is carried out in a fair and proper manner throughout.
Our Fraud Solicitors are based in London, Sheffield and Manchester and serve clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 0808 168 5813 to find out how we can help.