Santander UK calls for ‘radical actions’ against APP fraud 

Santander sign on a building.
Image courtesy of

In its latest market research on evolving fraud strategies, financial service provider Santander UK has called for immediate nationwide countermeasures against bad actors. 

The paper titled Tackling Authorised Push Payment Fraud Report’ highlights that financial crime is now one of the most prevalent crimes in the country, citing UK Finance figures of £600m stolen from online fraud and scams in the first half of this year. Most concerning is Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, to which half of the total scam incidents are related to. 

In a statement following the release of the report, Santander has urged the British business community to form a “radical plan of action”. 

Banks, private sector companies, the Government and law enforcement agencies were all addressed by the banking institution. Included in the report’s recommendations are new data standards introduced by digital payments provider Pay UK.

In terms of payment providers, Santander requested that they adopt and maintain a specific set of fraud rules, adhering to a mandatory Confirmation of Payee for all new payments. 

Enrique Alvarez, Head of Everyday Banking at Santander UK: “The sheer scale and value of APP fraud can detract from the real impact of these crimes on individual consumers, who can lose more than just money – their confidence and mental health can also be significantly harmed. 

“Unfortunately, we see this far too often, and it is time for us all to act together. The criminals who perpetrate these scams shouldn’t be getting away with it.”

“As our report shows, there are changes the banking industry can implement – but there are other changes that are clearly outside the banking industry’s control – like how fraudsters often reach their victims in the first place. We must all come together and address the issue, because currently the only real winners are the fraudsters.”

For government and public establishments, the bank recommends that the Online Safety Bill is put forward for consideration as soon as possible, which would in turn build more advanced methods of tracking down the origin of the scam, as well as a legislative consensus on who is responsible for the issuing of any victim reimbursements.  

Furthermore, it was also pointed out that tackling APP fraud is something that requires “an effective and streamlined leadership” by politicians just as much as it requires law enforcement to be adequately equipped with the skills and tools necessary to support UK businesses against this type of crime.

Drawing a parallel with the previous card fraud epidemic of the early 2000s and how this gave birth to the ‘Chip and Pin Moment’ to enhance the security of people’s money, Santander called for the same to happen now with the UK, with the country’s technological capabilities all directed towards a revolution in APP fraud fighting.