UK Finance Urges Next Government to Hold Big Tech Accountable for Fighting Scams

UK Finance calls for the next UK government to mandate tech firms to contribute £40 million annually to combat fraud, emphasizing the need for legislative action based on the UK Online Fraud Charter.

UK Finance is urging the next UK government to introduce legislation requiring technology, social media, and telecommunications companies to contribute £40 million annually to combat fraud and scams.

Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud has surged in recent years, with UK losses exceeding $500 million in the past year. In response, regulators are implementing new rules for the banking sector, effective from October, that will mandate the reimbursement of the majority of money lost to APP fraud victims.

Despite these measures, UK banks have been advocating for greater accountability from big tech, social media, and telecom companies for fraud originating from their platforms. UK Finance reports that 76% of APP fraud stems from online sources, while another 16% originates from the telecom sector.

Last year, eleven tech and social media firms signed the UK Online Fraud Charter, committing to tackle the growing issue of scams from fake adverts and romance fraud. Now, UK Finance is pushing for the government to take a more stringent approach by legislating based on this voluntary charter.

“In addition, to expand resources for fighting fraud and economic crime, online platforms, internet service providers, and telecommunications companies could be brought into the scope of the Economic Crime Levy. Doing so would raise over £40 million a year to invest in better technology, recruit specialist officers, and incentivize action to reduce fraud,” says the financial industry body.

In its ‘financial services manifesto’ ahead of the general election, UK Finance also calls for a net zero roadmap, the “championing” of the National Payments Vision, support for open banking, and the issuance of a digital gilt backed by HM Treasury to encourage the development of securities tokenisation.