14 Dec 2017
- Ground-breaking rapid response scheme – the Banking Protocol – means local branch staff can alert police and Trading Standards to suspected frauds taking place
- Since scheme rolled out in September in Dyfed-Powys, more than £127,000 of fraud stopped
- Nationally the Protocol has stopped more than £9 million of potential fraud in first year of operation, with 101 arrests made
A ground-breaking fraud prevention scheme aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch has stopped more than £9 million being passed to criminals in its first year of operation, figures from UK Finance show.
The Banking Protocol, developed as a partnership between the finance industry, Police and Trading Standards, enables bank staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with a rapid response to the branch.
The Banking Protocol was first launched in October 2016 with a pilot in London, before a national rollout began in May. Dyfed-Powys Police launched the scheme in September 2017.
It is now in place in 43 police forces across the country, with all remaining forces in the UK committed to introducing it.
Nationally, in the 12 months since the pilot was launched until the end of October 2017, the Banking Protocol has prevented £9.1 million of fraud, with individual customers protected from losing sums from £99 up to £212,000. So far, the scheme has led to 101 arrests being made across the country, with police responding to a total of 1262 Banking Protocol calls.
In Dyfed-Powys Police area more than £127,000 in fraud has been prevented, since the protocol was launched.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said:
“Fraud can have a devastating effect on some of the most susceptible people in society and it’s by working together with law enforcement, and others, that we can make a real difference when it matters most. The Banking Protocol is a great example of this collaboration in action protecting people from becoming victims. The finance industry is determined to crack down on fraud and is taking action on all fronts - the Protocol is an important weapon in our armoury.”
UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the Banking Protocolwith support from the National Trading Standards Scam team and the Joint Fraud Taskforce. 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. The Post Office is also part of the Protocol.
Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable, Darren Davies said: “We know that the most vulnerable in our communities are being targeted and defrauded by heartless criminals, using a variety of methods. A common method for fraud offences to be carried out is by encouraging victims to attend their local bank, building society or Post Office to withdraw cash or transfer money out of their account. This ground breaking fraud prevention scheme is the first line of defence in identifying and protecting potential fraud victims in these situations, and by working in partnership with the finance industry and Trading Standards we can really make a difference and protect the most vulnerable. Thanks to the Banking Protocol we have already succeeded in preventing over £127,000 being lost to fraudsters since September in Dyfed-Powys alone, and prevented the victimisation of some of the most susceptible. This is testament to the impact that can be directly attributed to the Banking Protocol, and we are excited to see further positive success stories as we move forward.”