Tag Archives: British Bankers Association

RUSI set to launch Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has announced the creation of a new Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies. The Centre will focus on the fields of financial crime, threat finance and financial intelligence.

Organised crime costs the United Kingdom no less than £24 billion per annum. Along with the impact of financial crime on the UK from both domestic and international sources, tackling threat finance is also a key security priority of the UK and international community (as illustrated by the efforts being undertaken to undermine the financial capabilities of ISIS).

In all of this work, partnership engagement between the public and private sectors can significantly enhance efforts in this field.

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Michael Clarke (RUSI’s director general) said: “The Centre is another example of RUSI being at the cutting edge of research on security issues. We add analytical value to policy studies. This new Centre will be a critical link between finance and Government and I welcome Tom Keatinge to the Institute. His experience will further strengthen our expertise on terrorism, organised crime and cyber security.”

Keatinge, who will head up the new Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, is a former managing director in the Financial Institutions Group and head of European public sector client coverage at JP Morgan.

Professor Michael Clarke: director general at RUSI

Professor Michael Clarke: director general at RUSI

Understanding of criminal threats

Donald Toon, director of the Economic Crime Command at the National Crime Agency, said: “Strong academic research can add substantially to our understanding of criminal threats and help shape an effective response from law enforcement, regulators and the private sector alike. I very much welcome this initiative from RUSI which promises to provide a focal point for research into the problems around financial crime.”

John Cusack, global head of financial crime compliance at Standard Chartered, added: “I’m delighted that RUSI has decided to establish a new Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies. The Centre is set to provide valuable contributions and be seen as a credible partner for all in the private or public sectors who wish to advance the debate and contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency around financial crime solving.”

Matthew Allen, director of financial crime at the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), commented: “A key part of identifying and stopping crime networks centres on understanding how they operate. This new Centre will provide the sort of vital insight that can help target responses and close in on the criminals. The BBA looks forward to working closely with RUSI on this initiative in order to help protect customers and ensure a safe financial system.”

Much-needed research focus

Based at RUSI, the Centre will comprise a dedicated team recruited from across finance, law enforcement and academia. The formal launch takes place at an event in the New Year.

The Centre will be based within the National Security and Resilience Studies Group at RUSI.

“The Centre will bring much-needed research focus and capacity to support the work of Her Majesty’s Government, other international Governmental partners and the private sector in addressing the challenges posed by financial crime and illicit finance in all of its forms,” explained Tom Keatinge.

*RUSI is an independent Think Tank for defence and security. A unique institution founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, the organisation embodies nearly two centuries of forward-thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters

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YouGov poll finds millions leave themselves open to scams as banks launch awareness campaign

The British Bankers Association is launching a fraud awareness campaign at a time when YouGov polling reveals that millions of people in Great Britain are unwittingly leaving themselves vulnerable to scams perpetrated by fraudsters posing as their bank.

The YouGov poll assessed customers’ responses to some of the common tactics used by criminals over the telephone, via e-mail or via text. Based on the answers, the British Bankers Association (BBA) calculates that people all over the country could fall foul of the most prevalent frauds around.

*Eight million individuals are vulnerable to ‘vishing’ or voice phishing
*Four million might transfer money into another supposed ‘safe’ account if instructed to do so
*Three million could be willing to carry out ‘test transactions’ online
*1.7 million would pass their bank card over to a courier on their doorstep if that courier were carrying some form of ID card

To counter this situation, the UK retail banks – with the support of law enforcement bodies including the City of London Police and the National Crime Agency – have produced a new leaflet and are launching an awareness drive called ‘Know Fraud, No Fraud’ in order to help their customers spot the difference between a legitimate call and one received from a fraudster.

The leaflet includes eight things your bank would never ask you (but a fraudster might), advice on how to avoid becoming a victim and instructions on what to do if you are caught out. It will be available across the country in bank branches and police stations and also on the ‘Know Fraud, No Fraud’ website at: http://www.knowfraud.co.uk

The BBA is launching a fraud awareness campaign as YouGov polling reveals that millions of people in Great Britain are unwittingly leaving themselves vulnerable to scams perpetrated by fraudsters posing as their bank

The BBA is launching a fraud awareness campaign as YouGov polling reveals that millions of people in Great Britain are unwittingly leaving themselves vulnerable to scams perpetrated by fraudsters posing as their bank

The leaflet sets out eight things your bank will NEVER ask you to do:

(1) Ask for your full PIN number or any online banking passwords over the phone or via e-mail
(2) Send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards or anything else
(3) Ask you to e-mail or text personal or banking information
(4) Send an e-mail with a link to a page which asks you to enter your online banking log-in details
(5) Ask you to authorise the transfer of funds to a new account or hand over cash
(6) Call to advise you to buy diamonds, land or other commodities
(7) Ask you to carry out a test transaction online
(8) Provide banking services through any mobile apps other than the bank’s official apps

Tactics used by the scammers

Anthony Browne, CEO of the BBA, said: “Being defrauded is a devastating experience for anyone which is why we are launching this campaign. The more people know about fraud, the less likely they are to become victims. Our ‘Know Fraud, No Fraud’ initiative will help you spot some of the tactics used by scammers. Your bank would never send someone to your home to collect your cash or ask you to transfer funds to a new account.”

Browne added: “If you suspect you’ve become the victim of fraud please contact Action Fraud and your bank as soon as you can. Specially-trained staff will be able to advise on what to do next.”

Anthony Browne: CEO of the BBA

Anthony Browne: CEO of the BBA

City of London Police Commander Steve Head, the Police National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime, explained: “Fraud and cyber crime is costing the UK tens of billions of pounds each year, in turn causing significant damage to big businesses, destroying smaller businesses and ruining many individual lives. Criminals are also exploiting the technological and Internet revolution to target people of all ages and from all walks of life with ever more sophisticated and convincing scams. These scams are increasingly delivered directly into the home via telephone, mobiles, laptops and tablets.”

Head went on to state: “The key to creating a safer society and stopping the fraudsters in their tracks is law enforcement working in close collaboration with Government and the public and private sector to raise awareness of current and future threats and disrupt and dismantle the networks and enablers directly facilitating much of this criminality. The BBA’s campaign to flag up the most prevalent scams against bank customers and to provide advice on how to avoid becoming the next victim is another important step in the right direction and is fully supported by the City of London Police in its role as the National Policing Lead for Fraud.”

City of London Police Commander Steve Head

City of London Police Commander Steve Head

Nigel Kirby, deputy director of the Economic Crime Command, commented: “Prevention is vitally important in the UK’s fight to cut fraud, and the National Crime Agency fully supports this campaign which gives people the information they need to protect themselves. If you’re familiar with the ways in which criminals try to scam you, then you are far less likely to become a victim of the fraudsters.”

Vishing and ‘safe accounts’

In vishing cases, a fraudster will say they are from the bank or police, and that a fraudulent credit card payment has been spotted or a card due to expire needs to be replaced. To convince the intended victim they are genuine, the caller will suggest the customer hangs up and calls the bank back on the number printed on the back of their debit or credit card. However, the fraudster never actually disconnects the line so that when you call the real number you are still speaking to them.

Often, the fraudster will then ask for the customer’s PIN and then send a courier to the victim’s home to collect the bank card, promising to provide a new one. By now the assailant has obtained the victim’s name, address, bank details, card and PIN – enough to make large bogus payments.

If you receive a suspicious call, if possible use another phone or wait at least two minutes for the line to disconnect before picking up and dialling again.

When it comes to ‘safe accounts’, criminals posing as bank officials will instruct a customer that their account is under threat (usually from a corrupt bank employee or cyber criminals). They will be instructed by the ‘bank’ to transfer money into a new ‘safe account’ which is actually the fraudster’s account.

Your bank will NEVER ask you to authorise the transfer of funds to a new account or hand over cash.

Test transactions and courier fraud

In some circumstances, criminals pretending to be from a bank might e-mail a customer asking them to perform a ‘test’ transaction online, sometimes claiming there is some technical issue on their account. Rest assured that your bank will NEVER ask you to carry out a test transaction online.

Often a follow-up to vishing, having posed on the phone as a fake bank employee to extract key security information – such as a customer’s full PIN code – the criminal may also say that they are sending an official courier to your home in order to collect the corresponding card. These couriers will have ‘official’ identification.

In the year ending March 2014, 211,344 fraud offences were recorded in England and Wales

In the year ending March 2014, 211,344 fraud offences were recorded in England and Wales

Another courier fraud ruse is for the criminal to pose as the bank in order to ask the victim to participate in a fake police investigation, usually involving a corrupt bank employee who has been stealing from customer accounts. Typically, the customer will be asked to withdraw substantial sums of money over the counter at their bank without arousing the suspicion of the staff. They are then told to wait at home for it to be collected by a courier for safe keeping.

Your bank will NEVER send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards or anything else.

Top line facts about fraud

In the year ending March 2014, 211,344 fraud offences were recorded in England and Wales. This is equivalent to four offences recorded per 1,000 members of the population. This represents a volume increase of 17% compared with the previous year.

In 2012, the UK Government fraud indicator suggested that fraud against UK individuals costs £6.1 billion per annum. This total is based upon estimates on the scale of mass marketing fraud, identity fraud, online ticket fraud, private rental property fraud and electricity scams.

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Banks team up with Government to combat cyber criminals and fraudsters

A pioneering financial crime alert system will see 12 Government and law enforcement agencies warn banks of the latest threats in a bid to safeguard the accounts of millions of customers.

Working with preferred technology partner BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, the British Bankers Association (BBA) will launch the Financial Crime Alerts Service as part of a new approach towards combating a wide range of financial crime threats.

The new alerts service will allow the sector to react more swiftly than ever to major incidents and permit industry financial crime professionals to spot emerging problems and threatening criminal trends.

Anthony Browne, CEO of the BBA, said: “This alerts system is a powerful new weapon against fraudsters, cyber criminals and other crooks intent on stealing our customers’ money. Receiving real-time alerts from both domestic and international bodies, including the National Crime Agency (NCA) and 11 other Government and law enforcement agencies, will provide vital intelligence for the army of staff banks have already hired to combat these threats. This service is a shining example of how banks and Government can work together to benefit all customers.”

Anthony Browne: CEO of the BBA

Anthony Browne: CEO of the BBA

Real-time intelligence pooled from partner agencies and Government bodies will be shared with expert banking officials in place to tackle fraud, financial crime and other violations.

This work builds on the successful arrangement already in place between banks and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau that has prevented over £100 million of fraud losses through successful and targeted information sharing.

When the initiative goes live (which is planned for early 2015), the BBA Financial Crime Alerts Service will include warnings on terrorist financing, money laundering, bribery and corruption, cyber and e-crime, fraud and emergent, thematic and strategic reports.

Donald Toon, director of the Economic Crime Command at the NCA, commented: “Collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector is key to reducing the impact of economic crime. Alerts to industry are a key part of this, and I very much welcome the BBA’s work in this area.”

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Experts to train “thousands” of City bankers on combating fraud and cyber crime

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the City of London Police have announced plans to train thousands of bankers every year when it comes to spotting scams and acting quickly to protect customers.

Using key techniques developed in the fight against terrorism, the BBA and the City of London Police want to create a ‘virtual ring of steel’ around the City of London, echoing the renowned physical security that protects the UK’s financial centre.

The agreement follows close working between banks and the City of London Police which has prevented fraudsters and cyber criminals stealing £173.9 million from bank customers over the last nine months.

Information circulated by the force’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to businesses, and disseminated by the BBA as alerts to banks, has led to the identification of 20,000 accounts that were at risk of, or being used to acquire money from victims between 1 April and 31 December 2013.

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard

By working together, the banks and the police protect victims who are targeted by organised criminals. Using information received from a variety of sources, the NFIB identifies suspect bank accounts which are being (or may be) used to take money from UK citizens or businesses. Once an alert is issued, steps are then taken to terminate these accounts in order to prevent/reduce further victimisation and harm that the related activity may cause.

Rising threat of cyber criminality

The working relationship between the BBA and the City of London Police is world leading in the fight against the rising threat of cyber criminals. The partnership now aims to establish a global centre of excellence that will help to train banks from around the world.

Training workshops will focus on the latest threats and techniques in the battle against cyber crime such as investigating fraud, bribery and corruption.

Commissioner Adrian Leppard of the City of London Police said: “Over the past 175 years we have learned that the best way to keep the City’s streets safe is by standing shoulder to shoulder with those who live or work in the Square Mile or who visit for leisure purposes.”

Leppard added: “Now in 2014, and serving the country as the national policing lead for economic crime, the City of London Police is also focusing on the rapidly evolving and expanding threat of fraud and cyber crime. The next logical step for us to take is to create a ‘virtual ring of steel’ around what is the financial engine room of the UK. The way we are going to do it is by teaming up with City workers and sharing our experience and expertise with the banks that are now the target of, or being used as a facilitator for organised crime.”

Anthony Browne, the BBA’s CEO, commented: “Cyber crime and fraud are two of the biggest security threats that we face. The systems that we have set up with the City of London Police have helped to protect hundreds of millions of pounds of customers’ money, but we now want to go further.”

Browne explained: “We want to create a ‘virtual ring of steel’ around the City of London and make it even more difficult for cyber criminals to operate here. The banks are often the first line of defence against fraudsters and criminals. By working together we know we can be even more effective at combating cyber crime in order to offer even better protection to our customers.”

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