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Fraud victims should NOT expect a refund, says RBS boss

Fraud victims should NOT expect a refund, says RBS boss: Fury as bank chief says customers must take responsibility for their own actions

  • RBS boss says fraud victims should not be entitled to automatic compensation
  • Ross McEwan says it is not RBS’s job to give a refund to those who are reckless
  • He insisted that RBS already refunds victims of the most sophisticated frauds 

The departing boss of bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland has insisted that fraud victims should not be entitled to automatic compensation.

Ross McEwan said that customers must take more responsibility for their actions if tricked into giving their savings to a conman.

He warned that it is not RBS’s job to give a refund to those who are reckless. His comments infuriated campaigners who believe many vulnerable individuals get scammed after they have been forced online because their local branch has closed.

Ross McEwan insisted that RBS already refunds victims of the most sophisticated frauds. Each scam is assessed case by case, he added. But campaigners last night declared this is not good enough and said that NatWest owner RBS must do more

Mr McEwan – who this week said he is standing down as chief executive – said his priority is to educate customers, rather than automatically compensate them.

He said: ‘At this stage we’re thinking about how we work with customers. We’ve got a big programme of education. We, including the media, have a major job to do of educating people not to give details away.

‘We have to do this with customers – they can’t just say “Oh, it was the bank’s fault I gave my details away”. This is a collective responsibility.’

Mr McEwan insisted that RBS already refunds victims of the most sophisticated frauds. Each scam is assessed case by case, he added.

The largest High Street banks, including RBS, have pledged to introduce a compensation fund. However, this is only guaranteed until the end of the year while a permanent solution is sought [File photo]

The largest High Street banks, including RBS, have pledged to introduce a compensation fund. However, this is only guaranteed until the end of the year while a permanent solution is sought [File photo]

But campaigners last night declared this is not good enough and said that NatWest owner RBS must do more.

Gangs typically have highly-sophisticated methods and in-depth knowledge of the bank’s procedures, making them seem very credible.

Ross McEwan warned that it is not RBS’s job to give a refund to those who are reckless. His comments infuriated campaigners who believe many vulnerable individuals get scammed after they have been forced online because their local branch has closed

Ross McEwan warned that it is not RBS’s job to give a refund to those who are reckless. His comments infuriated campaigners who believe many vulnerable individuals get scammed after they have been forced online because their local branch has closed

Critics also argue that large banks are responsible for the fraud epidemic because they have shut hundreds of branches and launched aggressive marketing campaigns to persuade customers to go online.

It can mean that older people who are not used to the internet have little choice other than to open a digital account – making them easier targets for the con artists. 

RBS alone has axed around 1,400 branches across Britain since it was rescued with £46billion of taxpayers’ money in 2008.

The Mail is campaigning for compensation for fraud victims. 

James Daley, of consumer group Fairer Finance, said: ‘Ultimately I don’t think it’s acceptable to allow individuals to lose everything because of a scam – it undermines confidence in the whole system.

‘Let’s hope Ross McEwan’s replacement has more progressive views on this.’

Scam victims lost a total of £345million to so-called authorised push payment fraud last year, where a customer is tricked into transferring the money to a criminal. Only £83million of this money was recovered, according to trade body UK Finance.

The crooks often pose as respectable figures such as a policeman or member of the bank’s staff.

They often use legitimate accounts to receive the money. Campaigners say these accounts should be rigorously policed and shut down if suspected of accepting the proceeds of fraud.

TSB earlier this month became the first bank to guarantee it will refund those hit by fraud in almost all cases, and the rest of the industry is under heavy pressure to follow suit.

My 9-month fight for £17k 

Gemma Church has been battling with RBS-owned NatWest for nine months

Gemma Church has been battling with RBS-owned NatWest for nine months

Gemma Church has been battling with RBS-owned NatWest for nine months after fraudsters stole £17,600 from her account. 

Last July Miss Church – who works for a housing association – began receiving calls from fraudsters posing as NatWest.

They told her that there had been unusual activity on her account. They said she would need to move her savings to new accounts.

Miss Church, 30, asked why the caller was using a private number. The fraudsters rang back from a number matching that on her debit card.

Miss Church, from Birmingham, said: ‘NatWest has not been sympathetic at all.’ NatWest said it would ‘revisit Miss Church’s case as a matter of priority’.

The largest High Street banks, including RBS, have pledged to introduce a compensation fund. However, this is only guaranteed until the end of the year while a permanent solution is sought.

Gareth Shaw, of Which?, said: ‘TSB has rightly recognised that the industry is far better placed to spot scams than customers, and that victims deserve refunds.

‘Other banks must now follow their lead.’

RBS said it is concerned that automatic compensation could lead to payouts for customers who are negligent with their bank details. Sources said it did not want to stop victims of complicated scams from having redress. 

Critics also argue that large banks are responsible for the fraud epidemic because they have shut hundreds of branches and launched aggressive marketing campaigns to persuade customers to go online [File photo]

Critics also argue that large banks are responsible for the fraud epidemic because they have shut hundreds of branches and launched aggressive marketing campaigns to persuade customers to go online [File photo]

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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