Call for levy on consumers to help finance firms foot the bill for bank transfer fraud
CONSUMERS should pay a tax on all payments to help foot the bill for compensating victims of fraud, a lobby group for banks has argued.
UK Finance chief Stephen Jones told MPs on the Treasury committee lenders should not always be on the hook for payouts when criminals trick people into transferring money.
Figures last month showed £145m was stolen through “authorised push payment” scams over the first half of the year, with £31m returned.
Lenders have resisted suggestions they should provide blanket compensation to payment fraud victims.
Mr Jones said “a tiny levy on each payment” made in the UK could be a solution to meet the rising cost of economic crimes. “Customers will pay if the banks have to pay,” the former Santander executive said. “It’s a ques- tion of how can the cost be fairly distributed across the system.”
Gareth Shaw, money expert at consumer group Which?, said: “The cost needs to sit with those that are best placed to manage the risk and protect customers, which is the banks.”
The banking industry and consumer groups launched joint plans to crack down on fraud last month, including a code advising lenders on when they should refund victims. But there was no agreement on who should pay compensation when both banks and consumers had acted appropriately.