Regulator steps in to protect push payment scam victims

28 February 2018

New rules to protect the victims of authorised push payment (APP) scams, are to be introduced by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR).

Push payment scams can occur when a fraudster tricks a victim into transferring money from their account, often by claiming to be a trusted person or financial institution.

At present, many banks will refuse to reimburse the victims of these scams as victims have chosen to transfer money themselves. However, customers are often treated differently depending on the individual polices of each financial provider.

The regulator has now announced plans to implement a code of practice from September 2018 to ensure all customers are treated fairly and equally.

This will include a reimbursement model which establishes the circumstances in which APP victims can receive compensation. However, the details of how the reimbursement model will work are yet to be decided.  

This announcement follows a consultation period which ran between November 2017 and January 2018.

The PSR will also work with consumer and industry bodies to help consumers understand the risk of such crimes and to refine the rules as fraudsters change their techniques.

Paul Smith, head of policy at the PSR, says: “This is about making a positive difference for people to protect them from APP scams. The banks have already made some changes but, from September 2018, this industry code will see better protections available to everyone. We expect the code to evolve over time to make sure methods of preventing APP scams are up to date.

“This is a complex piece of work and we have set a challenging timeline, but it is essential we see, as soon as possible, a model that is effective in protecting people.”

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