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UK bank customers are at greater risk of being targeted by fraudsters, HSBC figures show

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Britons are most at risk of bank fraud: More than 80 percent of HSBC customers’ unfair losses are in the UK, new figures show

  • HSBC data shows that over 80 per cent of fraud losses are incurred by UK customers
  • This is despite the fact that only 20 percent of the lender’s business is based in the UK
  • David Lindberg, chief executive of retail banking at NatWest, described the UK as a ‘fraudster’s paradise’










UK bank customers are at a higher risk of being targeted by fraudsters than people elsewhere in the world, figures from HSBC show.

More than 80 percent of the fraud losses suffered by personal customers with the international lender are located in the UK, although less than 20 percent of the business takes place in this country.

The revelation came after David Lindberg, chief executive of retail banking at NatWest, described the UK as a haven for fraudsters.

HSBC figures show that over 80 per cent of fraud losses are incurred by UK customers

Lenders, including HSBC, also blame internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft for hosting scam ads on their sites, which lure unsuspecting customers.

Stuart Haire, head of wealth and personal banking at HSBC UK, said the bank employs more than 10,000 anti-fraud employees around the world to protect customers.

Data from the City Watchdog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last week showed that banks and other regulated companies employed 17,403 staff in the UK alone to prevent financial crime, costing them £1.1 billion annually.

In the first half of this year, criminals stole £754 million, up 30 percent from the same time last year.

Throughout the pandemic, they have fooled the British for more than £2 billion.

Over the weekend, Money Mail launched its Outsmart the Scammers series, which continues today, to help savers protect their money.

The document also calls on the government to include financial scams in its forthcoming online safety law, requiring internet giants to take reasonable steps to ensure the legitimacy of advertisements and content they host.

But so far the government has refused, despite overwhelming support from MPs, the financial services industry, consumer rights campaigners and regulators.

Last month, Tory MP Mel Stride, chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, wrote that he “called on the government to enact legislation against fraudulent advertising in its Online Safety Bill.”

Mr Haire also supported the move, saying a ‘cross-sectoral approach’ is key to fraud prevention.

He added: “It is critical that anyone who introduces risk into the system, including Internet service providers and telecommunications companies, has a role to play in improving controls and prevention.”

Over the summer, Google voluntarily started checking ads on its website to make sure the companies behind it were FCA-regulated.

But other websites are still inundated with scams. In one quick search, accountant and anti-fraud activist Mark Taber discovered four scam sites on Microsoft search engine Bing.

They had all been on the FCA’s warning list for at least a month. The Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it will hold a consultation later this year to see whether stricter regulation of online advertising is needed.

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