"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"
New figures released by UK Finance have shown that the new rapid response scheme, Banking Protocol, has successfully prevented £24.7m of fraud leading to 197 arrests since its roll out in May 2017.
The scheme 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.
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 cooperation 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.”
UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the scheme, which is a partnership between the finance industry and police supported by National Trading Standards and the Joint Fraud Taskforce.
The most recent figures show that the scheme prevented over £3m 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.
Glenn Maleary, head of the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate, said: “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 and though it is now preventing people losing millions of pounds to fraudsters, we have to remain vigilant to changing criminal trends and adapt accordingly
The City of London Police, as the national policing lead for fraud and collator of the Protocol’s performance data, is proud to show that it has had such a significant impact on the fight against fraud and that it will continue to do so.”