TSB has announced that from 14th April 2019, all 5.2million of its customers will be protected by TSB's new 'fraud refund guarantee'. The guarantee promises to reimburse all genuine victims of fraud, even if they were ultimately responsible for sending their money directly to a fraudster.
What is the 'fraud refund guarantee' and what does it cover?
TSB is the first bank to offer reimbursements for 'authorised push payment' fraud, a term used to describe fraud victims sending payments directly to a scammer. Until now, banks have tended to refuse claims arising from 'authorised push payment' scams, but with a new 'voluntary' code due to take effect from 28th May (which entitles victims to compensation within 15 days of submitting a claim) TSB have made their stance unequivocally clear.
TSB has set out the scheme as follows:
- Customers affected will need to contact the bank to report fraud by calling the number on the back of their card or 0800 096 8669.
- The bank will still investigate the fraud claim, including what happened and how it happened so customers can understand how they fell victim and ensure they’re protected against future fraud.
- Customers that abuse the guarantee by repeatedly ignoring account safety advice, may be declined future refunds.
- TSB will not cover any retrospective losses, only those from 14 April 2019 onwards. This covers both new and existing customers
- TSB will not repay losses due to fraud committed by an individual on their own account.
What did TSB say?
TSB's executive chairman, Richard Meddings said ‘the vast majority of fraud claims across UK banking are from innocent victims of fraud, who have been targeted by criminals and organised gangs. However, all too often these customers must fight to be refunded and are not treated as victims of crime. We want to provide peace of mind to our customers, that’s why we’re proud to announce the TSB Fraud Refund Guarantee. If a TSB customer innocently suffers a fraud loss on their account after being targeted by a criminal, we’ll cover it.’
Will other banks follow suit?
Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Nationwide and Metro Bank have already committed to the voluntary code of conduct that comes into effect from 28th May 2019. The code gives customers the right to receive compensation within 15 days of submitting a claim (35 if it needs to be investigated further). However, the claims may still be refused if the bank finds that the customer has been 'grossly negligent' or if they did not take care to establish that the person they were sending money to was legitimate. It remains to be seen whether other banks will either clarify their stance or commit to the code.
Is TSB's 'fraud refund guarantee' a good thing?
Yes. Approximately £345 million was stolen in 2018 as a result of sophisticated 'authorised push payment' scams, with the vast majority of victims unable to receive any reimbursement whatsoever. The voluntary code, due to commence on 28th May 2019 is a positive step but the announcement by TSB to refund all customers that fall victim of 'authorised push payment' scams from 14th April 2019 goes above and beyond the code.
Let's hope those that have yet to sign up to the code either do so soon or even better, that they follow TSB's lead.