TSB leads UK banks in reimbursing customers conned by fraudsters

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – TSB came top among Britain’s main banks in reimbursing customers conned by fraudsters, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) said on Tuesday in its first public survey of how individual lenders handle fraud.

The PSR looked at how banks dealt with authorised push payment or APP fraud during 2022, whereby a customer is tricked by a fraudster into sending a payment to an account outside their control.

Fraud is Britain’s biggest crime, and APP scams accounted for 40% of fraud losses last year.

The PSR said TSB, owned by Spanish bank Sabadell, refunded 91% of reported APP losses, ahead of Nationwide with 78% in second place, followed by HSBC in third place at 73%.

“This represents a substantial improvement in transparency,” PSR Managing Director Chris Hemsley said in a statement.

“This provides better information for customers on how firms handle APP fraud and encourages these firms to take more action to tackle it.”

UK Finance, a banking industry body, said the financial services sector invests more in countering fraud than anyone else, and is the only sector that reimburses victims.

“What today’s data from the PSR does not show is where fraud starts,” UK Finance said in a statement.

Over 90% of authorised fraud begins online, over the phone, through social media or fake messages, but tech and telecom companies bear no responsibility for reimbursing victims, UK Finance said.

Hemsley said that over the coming months, the PSR will be bringing all payment firms into new reimbursement arrangements to give more consistent protection across the board.

“This is important because we can see from today’s report that this has not always been the case,” Hemsley said.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jason Neely)