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Security and Fraud Prevention

Our fundamental goal is to keep our customers’ money safe and secure. Remaining ahead of frauds and scams has therefore been a vital focus during the year.

In 2021, we prevented 542,969 cases of attempted fraud against our customers, amounting to over £193.3 million in the UK.(*)

159 fraud hotline

Along with other major banks and telecoms companies, we participated in a pilot scheme to introduce a hotline to help fight fraud across the industry and protect our customers from fraud and scams. Spearheaded by Stop Scams UK (SSUK), the phone number 159 is designed to disrupt scams in which victims have been contacted or engaged by a scammer via phishing or impersonation. The number works by encouraging customers experiencing suspected fraud to stop, hang up and call 159, at which point they are directed to their bank.

Fraud and scams education

We are committed to ensuring we empower customers to detect and prevent fraud and scams at first point of contact. In 2021, we ran a range of campaigns to arm customers with the knowledge and tools to keep their money safe, including a seasonal shopping education campaign with a focus on purchase and delivery scams and virtual ‘keeping your money safe’ lessons.

Manage My Limits

This feature was implemented into online banking and the mobile app, putting customers in control of their payments by defaulting limits to historic levels, thus reducing opportunities for fraudsters. The initial release resulted in 95% of customers’ daily payment limits being reduced to £5,000.

Free security software

We continue to provide our customers with ‘Malwarebytes Premium’ security software solution, free of charge until 2024. The software, taken up by over 164,000 users by the end of 2021, can be used on Android and iOS devices and provides anti-malware capabilities, as well as protection against phishing, robo-calls, known scammers and malicious text filtering.

We are also offering our Bankline customers free access to ‘Heimdal Security’ which provides a suite of AI-powered endpoint threat prevention tools to protect their businesses.

Identifying criminal networks

Implemented in June 2021, the Ne04J Graph database software enables us to identify complex criminal networks, fraud and mule rings across our banking network. The new system improves on the existing capability, providing a wider dataset and a more intelligent interface while streamlining our current operational processes.

(*) Within the scope of EY assurance. See our External assurance webpage for details.