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Banking Protocol prevents more than £400,000 of fraud in Hertfordshire

3 Jul 2018
  • The Banking Protocol has prevented more than £400,000 of attempted fraud in Hertfordshire.

  • The scheme means branch staff can immediately alert police and Trading Standards to suspected frauds taking place.
  • More than 110 emergency calls have now been placed and responded to under the scheme in Hertfordshire.

More than £400,000 worth of fraud has been prevented in Hertfordshire thanks to the introduction of the Banking Protocol, a ground-breaking scheme aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch.

Since the initiative was introduced by Hertfordshire Constabulary in May 2017 a total of 113 emergency calls have now been placed and responded to through the scheme and 65 vulnerable victims have been protected (up to end of May 2018).

Developed as a partnership between the finance industry, police and Trading Standards, the Banking Protocol enables bank branch staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch.

Branch staff, call handlers, police and trading standards officers in each area have all been trained in the Banking Protocol and the steps that need to be taken when a customer is at risk.

Across the country the Banking Protocol has led to a total of 197 arrests and prevented almost £25m in fraud, while 3,682 emergency calls have been placed and responded to through the scheme.

As well as stopping frauds taking place, the scheme ensures a consistent response to potential victims and gives them extra support to prevent them becoming a victim in the future.

UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the Banking Protocol, with support from the National Trading Standards Scam team and the Joint Fraud Taskforce.

Detective Inspector Marcus Bromley, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit said: “When the Banking Protocol first launched we were really keen to be involved with the scheme and roll it out across Hertfordshire as soon as possible. It has proved an invaluable tool in tackling fraud, particularly against elderly and vulnerable victims.

“We’re really pleased with the results so far and hope we can stop further potential victims from falling prey to callous fraudsters.”

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, commented: “Fraud can have a devastating impact on victims and is often targeted at the most vulnerable people in society, which is why we must work together to prevent it.

“The Banking Protocol shows how close cooperation between the industry and law enforcement can help to protect victims and crack down on fraudsters.

“This kind of joined-up approach is crucial to stay one step ahead and ensure that unscrupulous scammers preying on customers are brought to justice.”

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