FCA calls for better treatment of fraud victims

FCA has carried out a review of firms’ fraud controls and complaints handling, and is disappointed with the way some firms support fraud victims. While it did find some examples of good practice, it found many areas where firms could improve, and is now working with firms to strengthen their approaches. FCA’s criticisms included:

  • wanting to see more focus on delivering good consumer outcomes;
  • some firms made it hard for customers to report fraud easily or promptly, especially outside standard opening hours, and sometimes when customers called they would suffer long waits and on occasion get incorrect advice from poorly resourced teams;
  • taking too long to respond to complaints;
  • complaints decision letters sometimes being at best unclear or confusing or at worst unhelpful or accusatory;
  • firms not fully considering customer vulnerability characteristics when making decisions;
  • MI that focussed more on commercial risk appetite than customer outcomes – FCA noted that firms that have reported the most money mule activity generally lacked the right MI and senior management oversight to address the risk; and
  • that firms can do more to strengthen their systems against fraud – although some firms are already usefully using biometrics and creating helpful positive frictions in potentially high-risk payments by inserting manual intervention in the process.

The review covered 12 current account providers, challenger banks and payment firms, selected on the basis of a combination of statistics from PSR reports, FOS data and FCA’s own supervisory insight.

Emma Radmore