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Research: Which UK Bank Customers are Most at Risk of Fraud?

YourMoney | John Fitzsimons | Feb 7, 2023

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Banks are missing basic online and app protections, which are exposing users to a greater risk of fraud, a consumer watchdog has revealed.

  • Consumer champion Which? and Red Maple Technologies, a security firm, tested the customer-facing security systems of 13 bank account providers at the end of last year. Banks were assessed based on the login, navigation and logout, account management and encryption, across both their online banking and apps.
  • The worst bank for customer security:
    • Virgin Money was the worst performer, scoring just 52% for its online banking and 54% for its app banking. It scored two stars out of five for navigation and logout, as well as account management, for online banking, with the same score for the encryption on its app.
      • The study found that the bank did not adequately block insecure passwords or remove phone numbers from notifications, while there were also no security checks should you want to pay someone new, change an email address or adapt the details of a payee.

See:  Comparison of UK banking providers’ fraud controls

  • Best bank for customer security:
    • Starling came top for online banking security at 82%, while its app scored 80%. The bank scored the full five stars in almost every category in the Which? study.
    • It was followed by HSBC, which was the top scorer for online banking security last year. It scored 80% for online banking, while its app was the best in the study with a score of 82%.
  • Banks must raise their game:  banking industry needs to do a better job in boosting its cyber defences against scammers, who it suggested are becoming increasingly sophisticated.  It called for further measures like blocking weak passwords and removing sending sensitive data through SMS text messages since they can be intercepted.

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