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PSR welcomes major boost in protection from Authorised Push Payment scams, to begin in May 2019

Published 28 02 2019

The PSR welcomes today’s announcement that a new voluntary industry code of good practice to protect people from APP scams has been agreed and will take effect from 28 May 2019. The code marks a significant step up in protecting people from APP scams, and support for those that become a victim of this devastating crime.

At the beginning of 2018, the PSR set up a dedicated steering group, made up of consumer representatives and the industry, to design and implement a code that would work for everyone.

The development and subsequent implementation of the code follows significant work by the steering group, completed within the ambitious timeframe driven by the PSR. This work has looked to understand the scale and technicalities of the problem, along with setting out how to prevent these types of scam from happening in the future and reimburse victims if they do nothing wrong.

The regulator is pleased that the code reflects its continued strong belief that if somebody has done everything they can reasonably do to protect themselves, they should be reimbursed. Even if blame can’t be attributed to either the consumer or the banks, consumers will be reimbursed. In a further, positive move, the banks have agreed to fund an initial contribution to reimburse victims in the no-blame scenario as an interim measure until the final long-term funding arrangements are put in place from January 2020. The PSR looks forward to working with industry as this mechanism is developed.

The PSR will continue to keep under close review the progress in this area and whether any further steps would help bring about the benefits that the code and the longer-term funding mechanism are intended to achieve.

Hannah Nixon, Managing Director for the Payment Systems Regulator, says:

“From 28 May, consumers will have better protection from APP scams than they have ever had before.

“The code is a testament to the significant work that has gone into protecting people from APP scams. It shows that by bringing together consumer and industry representatives, very positive outcomes can be achieved.

"We’re particularly pleased that the steering group has been able to navigate and agree a way to reimburse victims when neither victim nor bank has done anything wrong. This was a tough issue that rightly involved much discussion, but the banks have done the right thing for their customers in backing this measure.

“We will continue to engage with developments in the code and longer-term funding mechanism closely so that consumers get the protection and benefits intended. We will consider whether any further steps would help bring this about.”

The final code will be implemented on 28 May, at which point the protections and standards will be implemented by banks and other payment service providers.

Confirmation of Payee

The PSR still wants to see Confirmation of Payee brought in as soon as possible and also make sure that when it is introduced, it is an effective way to stop this crime taking place.

The regulator is working through the responses to its consultation on the implementation of Confirmation of Payee and so no decisions on timing have been made. However, given the feedback provided by industry, and the technical complexities to be addressed, the regulator recognises that an implementation date of 1 April 2019 will not be achievable. Further work will therefore be carried out to ensure this important tool is delivered as soon as possible.