MPs put bank transfer scams under spotlight as part of economic crime inquiry

MPs are to review what progress has been made to combat economic crime, including bank transfer scams.

The Treasury Committee has launched a new inquiry, which will look at emerging trends involving consumers.

This will include authorised push payment (APP) fraud, when people are tricked into transferring money directly to a fraudster, as well as emerging trends as a result of coronavirus.

Chair of the Treasury Committee Mel Stride
Chair of the Treasury Committee Mel Stride said it was important that relevant bodies were held to account and scrutinised effectively (David Mirzoeff/PA)

The inquiry will also examine anti-money laundering systems and the sanctions regime.

And the committee will continue to examine economic crime related to bounce back loans as part of its ongoing inquiry into the economic impact of coronavirus.

Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “It’s important that the relevant bodies are held to account and scrutinised effectively to ensure that the UK is a clean place to do business and that consumers are protected from economic crime.”

Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which?, said: “The committee is right to examine how effectively people are being protected from bank transfer scams, as the existing approach still leaves people facing a lottery to get their money back when dealing with their bank.

“The current voluntary industry code is not being applied consistently by firms, resulting in many victims of sophisticated scams being unfairly denied reimbursement.

“After the Brexit transition period ends, the Government should legislate so that all banks are governed by a statutory industry code on bank transfer scams, with strong standards in place to ensure that consumers who are not at fault are reimbursed.”

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