19 April 2021

TSB sets out next phase of Britain’s fight against fraud

  • This week marks the second anniversary of TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee.
  • With fraud Britain’s fastest growing crime, TSB has set out a three-point plan to help turn the tide against fraud.
  • TSB is also calling for the forthcoming online advertising guidance policy to require technology platforms and search engines to take down scam adverts and influencer scam endorsements.
  • As online scams continue to rocket, online and social media platforms need to take more responsibility in quickly removing the fraud that is reported to them.
  • TSB proposals would see each bank display their fraud reimbursement rate on posters in branches and online.

Two years on from the launch of its industry-leading Fraud Refund Guarantee, TSB has opened a new front in the fight against fraud, with a three-point plan to target Britain’s fastest growing crime.

The plan reflects evidence TSB has submitted to the Payment Systems Regulator’s consultation on the future of fraud protections.

It comes as a growing number of politicians, regulators and campaign groups have called for further cross-industry action against fraud.

TSB’s proposals include calls for all banks to display their customer reimbursement rate on posters in branch, in the style of the CMA’s annual customer satisfaction surveys. This would show how each bank is performing on the vital issue of fraud refunds.

At industry level1 investment scams increased by a third (32%) last year and losses increased by over two fifths (43%), which is largely due to increasing scam adverts hosted on online platforms. UK Finance recently stated2 that, “Nearly every scam now has an online element.”

As fraud rates continue to surge across the UK, TSB have set out three key policies which can help government, industry and campaigners turn the tide:

  • The scope of the forthcoming online advertising guidance should include a requirement for technology platforms and search engines to remove online scam adverts and influencer scam endorsements so that scams are removed before consumers see them. Online platforms should also be mandated to vet advertisers, publish the data showing the time taken between a scam being reported and the volume of scams removed on social media and online platforms.
  • All industries – not just banks – should be encouraged to end the victim-blaming approach to fraud.
  • Each bank should publish its customer reimbursement rate on posters in branches and online to boost transparency on how each lender performs on the important issue of fraud refunds.
Commenting on the plan, Debbie Crosbie, Chief Executive of TSB said:
“Two years ago, TSB introduced the UK’s first Fraud Refund Guarantee in recognition that fraud had become increasingly sophisticated and that customers deserved protection from losses.
“Today, we’re setting out a hard-hitting plan for collective action across banks, telecoms companies and online firms to turn the tide against the UK’s fastest growing crime.”
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

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Notes to editors

  1. UK Finance data, March 2019 - Fraud the Facts 2021 page 60
  2. UK Finance, Fraud the Facts 2021, page 5 foreword
  • TSB introduced its Fraud Refund Guarantee in April 2019 and has since refunded 99 percent of TSB customers that were innocent victims of fraud.
  • The Payment Systems Regulator consults over the future of fraud protections for consumers: https://www.psr.org.uk/publications/consultations/cp21-3-authorised-push-payment-scams-call-for-views/
  • In February 2021 the Payment Systems Regulator launched a consultation into the future of fraud protections with proposals for a mandated refund approach from the industry towards victims.
  • The PSR’s consultation proposes a model similar to TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee. Reflecting the need for simplicity in the application of the rules, under this approach PSPs could only deny reimbursement if:
  • the sending PSP finds compelling evidence of first-party fraud, or
  • the sending PSP finds compelling evidence that the loss did not arise from an APP scam