We wouldn’t say that this is an entirely and fully baked suggestion. Rather that this is something that does need to be thought about. If we create a dedicated fund, funding stream, to compensate for a certain form of criminal activity, aren’t we then reducing the pressure to reduce this form of criminal activity?
Banks are lobbying to introduce charges on the vast majority of money transfers to fund payouts for fraud victims, Telegraph Money understands.
The industry has agreed that victims of bank transfer fraud who did nothing to put themselves at risk should get their money back. It is now under pressure to agree where this money will come from.
This week it emerged that the number of reported cases of bank transfer fraud, where someone is tricked into authorising a payment to criminals, has almost doubled in a year, from 43,875 to 84,624, according to the banking trade body, UK Finance. In total £354m was stolen but banks returned only £83m to victims.
If the banks must compensate from shareholder funds then that will put a certain pressure on the bank and management systems to reduce this form of crime. If there’s a funding scheme, that flow of funds from each and every transfer, then that pressure will be reduced. The banks won’t have skin in the game in reducing the instances of the fraud. Their profits are unaffected by the scale of crime.
Is that what we really want? Those best able to limit the thieving having no economic pressure to reduce it? It’s not entirely obvious that it is, is it?