Number of ‘insider’ bank fraud cases on the rise

23 March 2021 
2 minutes
Financial Claims

A recent article in The Times reports that the number of bank staff being bribed or blackmailed by fraudsters to reveal customers’ financial information, has increased in the last year. Read a summary of the article below:

The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), said it had 43 referrals from bank staff who had been approached by criminals in 2020, up from 23 in 2019. The Times article notes that although the numbers may not seem overly high, one single bank worker could potentially have access to hundreds of pieces of information that would be useful for the fraudsters.

Bilal Abbas, a member of Santander’s anti-fraud team, was recently jailed for two years after selling customers’ details to fraudsters in a £90,000 scam. The details were passed over to two other men, who used the details of 21 customers to purchase expensive goods at 13 businesses across England.

UK Finance, banking’s representative body, has said that insider fraud is extremely rare. With 420,000 people employed by banks and building societies last year, the number of insider convictions was equivalent to 0.005 per cent of staff. Many banks have also confirmed that staff receive training to stop fraud, and in-house processes allow staff to report colleagues’ suspicious behaviour.

The DCPCU said that it prevented £20 million of fraud in 2020 and arrested 100 suspects, many involved in scams targeting vulnerable people during the pandemic.

This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice.

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