Banking Protocol’s introduction prevents £25 million in fraud and leads to 197 arrests

Figures published by UK Finance have revealed that £24.7 million of fraud has been prevented and 197 arrests made thanks to the introduction of the Banking Protocol, a ground-breaking scheme aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch. The publication of the latest figures marks one year since a national roll-out of the scheme began in May 2017.

The Banking Protocol enables bank branch staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch. UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the scheme, which is a partnership between the finance industry and the police supported by National Trading Standards and the Joint Fraud Task Force.

Branch staff, call handlers, police and trading standards officers in each area have all been trained in the Banking Protocol and the steps that need to be taken when a customer is at risk.

The scheme was first introduced as a pilot in London during October 2016. Since March of this year it has been implemented by all 45 police forces in the UK. Since being introduced, the Banking Protocol has led to 197 arrests across the country, while 3,682 emergency calls have now been placed and responded to through the scheme, with the average prevention per call equating to £6,720.

The most recent figures show that the scheme prevented over £3 million in fraud in May 2018 – a monthly record – while 17 arrests were made.

As well as stopping frauds taking place, the scheme ensures a consistent response to potential victims and gives them extra support to prevent them becoming a victim in the future.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “Fraud can have a devastating impact on victims and is often targeted at the most vulnerable people in society, which is why we must work together to prevent it. The Banking Protocol shows how close co-operation between the industry and law enforcement can help to protect victims and crack down on fraudsters. This kind of joined-up approach is crucial to stay one step ahead and ensure that unscrupulous scammers preying on customers are brought to justice.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Glenn Maleary, head of the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate, stated: “The scale and borderless nature of fraud means we are having to find new and innovative ways to protect the public and deter the criminals. Banks are often the first point of contact for someone who is about to fall victim to fraud, so the Banking Protocol is a vital way of protecting vulnerable victims and preventing fraudsters from taking advantage of them. Since it was initiated, the Protocol has built its strength. It’s now preventing people losing millions of pounds to fraudsters, but we have to remain vigilant to changing criminal trends and adapt accordingly.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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