Santander pushes back at Which? over APP scam reimbursement rates

Santander pushes back at Which? over APP scam reimbursement rates

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Santander has pushed back against calls from Which? for banks to publish figures on the proportion of customers they refund for authorised push payment (APP) fraud, arguing that looking at reimbursement rates in isolation could present a “misleading” picture.

APP scams have been on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, with losses hitting nearly half a billion pounds in 2020.

Many of the UK’s biggest banks and building societies are signed up a voluntary code, which is based on the principle that blameless victims of bank transfer scams should be reimbursed their losses.

However, the firms have been reluctant to say how many customers they have refunded, prompting consumer group Which? to call on them to come clean.

In response, Santander says that concentrating on reimbursement rates ignores work done on fraud prevention, “which should be the overriding priority”.

The Spanish-owned lender says that reimbursement rates should only be published alongside three additional measures: prevention data, scam originator data, and receipt account data.

“Agreeing a common reporting methodology across the banking sector to deliver this data will be a complex project that will take time to get right, but we believe it is worthwhile in order to provide consumers with a more balanced and insightful view,” says a statement.

Santander is also calling for greater collaboration between financial services organisations and social media companies, tech platforms and telecoms operators to stop fraudsters using their services.

Banks – backed by Which? – have been lobbying the UK government to reverse its decision not to include online scams in its new ‘Online Harms’ bill. The move would put greater responsibility on tech platforms to tackle financial fraud.

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