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Scheme extended to help scam victims get their money back

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Scam victims will continue to receive help from their banks to get their money back after funding for a voluntary refund scheme was extended.

In May, a number of banks signed up to a voluntary code to reimburse victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams. This is when consumers are tricked into transferring money to a seemingly legitimate account but it is in fact controlled by a scammer.

Seven banks have temporarily funded the refund scheme which was expected to last until the end of the year while long-term funding arrangements were still being consulted.

However, the banks – HSBC, Lloyds, Metro Bank, Nationwide, RBS, Santander and Starling Bank – have agreed to extend the funding until at least 31 March 2020.

This means that under the ‘no-blame’ voluntary code, customers of the banks who fall victim to such scams, where both the provider and customer have taken necessary steps to prevent fraud, will be reimbursed.

In the first half of 2019, consumers lost £208m to APP scams.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of banking trade body, UK Finance, said: “This voluntary agreement to continue the interim funding arrangements by seven of the Code signatories into March next year therefore provides important time for further proposals to be considered and implemented.

“UK Finance shares the Treasury Committee and Which? view that issues of liability and reimbursement should best be addressed by new laws rather than just a voluntary Code alone and will continue to call for new legislation to make the Code mandatory to ensure that victims are protected and reimbursed. We urge any future government to work together with the Payment Systems Regulator to make this happen.”

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