It has just come to my knowledge that bank account holders who are tricked into transferring money to fraudsters could be entitled to reimbursement under a new voluntary industry code that came into force a few days ago throughout the UK.

The code is designed to see victims getting money back in cases where neither they nor the bank have done anything wrong, though customers will have to have met “standards expected of them”. That means they could be denied reimbursement if they have been negligent, for example, by ignoring warnings or if they are an organisation that has failed to follow its own procedures.

So-called authorised push payment scams regularly deprive consumers and account holders thousands, if not millions, of euros.

Unlike victims of other types of fraud such as credit or debit card scams, those involved in these cases have so far not been entitled to any reimbursement. But a number of banks in the UK, among which Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Metro Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland, have now signed up to a code of practice to reimburse victims and agreed to fund the scheme on an interim basis until January, 2020, when longer-term funding arrangements are put in place.

Separate measures being taken to combat such scams also include a name-checking service called ‘confirmation of payee’. This works by making sure the name of the person being sent money matches the name entered by the person paying. Customers paying the money will be alerted if there is not a match before any such transfer takes place. The payment systems regulator (there is no counterpart under the Maltese system) has proposed that the UK’s six biggest banking groups, which are involved in about 90 per cent of bank transfers, fully put the confirmation of payee measures in place by March 31, 2020.

Could, perhaps, at least Malta’s leading banks follow suit and emulate their UK counterparts?

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.