PSR Consults On UK Fraud Reporting Model

December 12, 2022
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The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has updated its plans to publish data on how well UK firms are protecting customers against authorised push payment (APP) scams.

The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has updated its plans to publish data on how well UK firms are protecting customers against authorised push payment (APP) scams.

The PSR’s approach to APP fraud has become clearer, with the regulator beginning to consult on the technical process that banks and building societies will have to follow as part of its new reporting requirement.

“Banks and building societies should be transparent not only about how many of their customers have fallen victim to an APP scam, but also how they have treated those people,” said Kate Fitzgerald, the PSR’s head of policy. “As well as giving customers more information to choose which bank or building society they want to use, the publication of this data will encourage banks and building societies to do more to help people.”

The data the regulator will require banks and building societies to provide covers the proportion of victims who are left fully or partially out of pocket, as well as the rates of APP scams happening at both sending and receiving banks or building societies.

The PSR's hope is that the publication of this data will dramatically increase the information available to customers about how well their bank or building society is doing in tackling scams and reimbursing victims.

In the consultation, which is open until January 17, 2023, the PSR looks at requiring the 14 largest payment service providers — the 12 largest in the UK, plus two in Northern Ireland — to provide six-monthly data on APP scam performance.

In addition, the PSR proposes that receiving PSPs will have the option to ask sending PSPs for a breakdown of their APP scam data, so that they can check it.

Sponsor PSPs, for example large banks, such as Barclays, that enable smaller banks to indirectly participate in the Faster Payments payments infrastructure through its connection, have the option to identify APP scam transactions that should be allocated to their indirect PSPs system where they have the ability to do so.

“We propose to require sending PSPs to assist receiving PSPs in this checking process, if they ask for it,” the PSR says.

In the consultation, the PSR proposes that sending PSPs will re-submit their final data to the regulator, or confirm that there are no changes, with any adjustments that they consider appropriate, following any requests for revisions from receiving PSPs.

These submissions will be signed off by the chief financial officer (CFO) or equivalent to provide assurance over this data.

“Our package of measures will help to make sure more APP scam victims are reimbursed and further encourage banks and building societies to have strong fraud prevention measures in place,” said Fitzgerald.

In November 2021, the PSR consulted on a package of measures to tackle APP scams — these focused on the publication of scam data, industry efforts to improve intelligence sharing and mandatory reimbursement for APP scam victims.

APP scams have become a major problem in the UK. In the first half of this year, for example, there were more than 95,000 incidents of APP scams, with losses totalling almost £250m, according to UK Finance.

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