BLOG: TSB has led with fraud promise, now other banks should follow
This means customers will get their money back whether the fraud was a result of an unauthorised transaction on their account or they were tricked into authorising payments to fraudsters.
Banks are currently not obliged to refund customers who unwittingly authorise a transaction.
This is a welcome and long-overdue move, and one which other banks should introduce to protect innocent victims of fraud.
Why? Because the distinction between authorised and unauthorised transactions has become too blurred.
Take the story of one of our readers, Joanna Stevens, from earlier this year. Her bank, Natwest, initially refused to refund her after £14,000 was stolen from her account because she had authorised the transaction which ultimately led to her money ending up in the hands of scammers.
But she only authorised the transaction after making numerous attempts to ensure the caller, who claimed to be from the Natwest fraud team, was who he said he was.
She asked the right questions and, in her opinion, got satisfactory responses. Unfortunately, the person on the end of the phone was a fraudster.
Fortunately, Joanna’s story had a happy ending (only after she asked a journalist to help her).
But with criminals stealing £1.2bn through fraud and scams last year, there will be plenty of victims still out of pocket.
TSB has said it won’t refund losses from retrospective claims, only losses incurred on or after 14 April, so the new rules aren’t much use to these people. But they are a much-needed safety blanket for people caught out by fraudsters and their increasingly sophisticated tactics.
That’s not to say consumers should become complacent. Just because fraud victims should get their money back if they’re a TSB customer doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be alert to out-of-the-blue phone calls or text messages or suspicious looking emails.
Joanna Faith is editor of YourMoney.com