New industry code enables refunding of APP scams

Victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams could be entitled to reimbursement from their banks following the introduction of a new voluntary industry code.

Developed by consumer groups and figured from the industry, the code follows work led by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR).

Overall 8 banks, representing 17 bank brands will apply the code including: Barclays, HSBC (HSBC, First Direct, and M&S Bank); Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and Intelligent Finance); Metro Bank; Nationwide; RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest, and Ulster Bank); Santander (Santander, Cahoot, and Carter Allen); and Starling Bank.

Chris Hemsley, co-managing director, PSR explained: “APP scams can have a devastating impact on the people who fall victim to them.

“The code is a major step-up in protections and it reflects our strong belief that if somebody has done everything they can reasonably do to protect themselves, they should be reimbursed. I welcome the commitment that these banks have made to their customers.”

According to trade body UK Finance, in the first half of 2018 a total of £145m was lost through APP scams and PSR said this initiative is one of many set to come into force to help protect the consumer.

In the circumstance that a person was to fall victim to an APP scam, in order to claim they must notify their bank who will then decide on reimbursement within 15 working days.

If the person deems the banks handling of their complaint unsatisfactory they can then refer it directly to the Financial Ombudsman Service who will undertake a review of the matter, whether or not their bank has signed up to the code.

Hemsley concluded: “There has been a significant amount of work by consumer groups and the industry to develop and deliver this code and we are really pleased that these new protections are now available.”