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Metro Bank heads list of UK banks with most fraudulent payments

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Metro Bank, Starling, TSB and Monzo are the mainstream banks that received the highest rates of fraudulent payments last year, according to research that sheds light on which firms are being targeted by scammers.

The Payment Systems Regulator yesterday released industry figures for so-called authorised push payment (APP) fraud, which is when a bank customer is conned into sending a payment to a fraudulent account they believe is legitimate.

They showed that of the big banks, Metro and Starling received the highest number of APP fraud payments for every one million transactions last year, with 180 for the former and 119 for the latter. They were followed by TSB, with a rate of 93, and Monzo, with 67.

They also received the highest value of APP fraud payments of the large banks. For every £1 million received into Metro consumer accounts last year, £696 came from APP fraud. The rate was £605 for TSB, £307 for Starling and £227 for Monzo.

The rates were higher for smaller payments firms, the PSR research found. Dzing Finance received 187,695 APP fraud payments per one million transactions. By value, Clear Junction had the highest rate of £10,355 per £1 million received.

“Fraudsters need access to accounts to receive the fraudulent funds,” the payments regulator said, adding that these could include “money mules or where a fraudster has taken control of a victim’s account”.

It said: “Reasons for some firms having higher rates of receiving fraud could include fewer or delayed onboarding checks… or weaknesses in inbound transaction monitoring.”

Metro said it had “a range of safeguards” to fight fraud and TSB said it was “continuing to invest in our controls”. Starling said it was “constantly monitoring emerging threats” and Monzo warned that APP scams are “a huge industry-wide issue”.

Dzing said the PSR’s figures were “misleading” because the PSR was required to extrapolate comparative figures for it. Clear Junction said it only served institutions, resulting in “a higher reported fraud value, primarily due to larger transaction sizes”.

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