UK Finance has revealed that banks and card companies prevented £1,458.6 million in unauthorised financial fraud in 2017, equivalent to £2 in every £3 of attempted unauthorised fraud being stopped.
In 2017, fraud losses on payment cards fell 8% year-on-year to £566.0 million. At the same time, card spending increased by 7%, meaning card fraud as a proportion of spending equates to 7.0p for every £100 spent – the lowest level since 2012. In 2016 the figure stood at 8.3p.
For the first time, annual data on losses due to authorised push payment scams (also known as APP or authorised bank transfer scams) has also been collated. A total of £236.0 million was lost through such scams in 2017.
UK Finance said combined total losses fell by 5% to £731.8 million; losses due to unauthorised transactions on payment cards fell 8% year-on-year to £566.0 million. The industry helped prevent £984.9 million in attempted unauthorised card fraud.
Losses due to unauthorised remote banking fraud totalled £156.1 million, a 14% rise on 2016. Banks prevented £261.4 million of unauthorised remote banking fraud, 27% more than last year.
Meanwhile, cheque fraud losses fell 28% in 2017 to £9.8 million. This is the lowest annual total on record. £212.3 million of attempted unauthorised cheque fraud was prevented.
There were 1,910,490 reported cases of unauthorised financial fraud, a rise of 3% compared to the year before.
The new authorised push payment scams data, collected for the first time in 2017, shows there were 43,875 reported cases of authorised push payment scams with a total value of £236.0 million. 88% of this total were retail consumers, losing an average of £2,784, and the remainder were businesses who lost on average £24,355 per case.
Financial providers were able to return £60.8 million (26%) of the authorised push payment scam losses in 2017.
Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “Fraud is an issue that affects the whole of society, and one which everyone must come together to tackle. The finance industry is committed to playing its part – investing in advanced security systems to protect customers, introducing new standards on how banks respond to scam victims, and working with the Joint Fraud Taskforce to deter and disrupt criminals and better trace, freeze and return stolen funds.
“We are also supporting the Payment Systems Regulator on its complex work on authorised push payment scams, providing the secretariat for its new steering group. It’s a challenging timetable, but it is important that we get it right to stop financial crime and for the benefit of customers.”