Which? makes 'super complaint' to force banks to help scam victims – Telegraph.co.uk


The consumer group is demanding that the regulators formally investigate the scale of bank transfer fraud and the loss victims are suffering.

It also wants them to force banks to take more responsibility when the scams occur.

Super-complaints can be made by designated consumer bodies, like Which? to regulators about market issues that significantly harm consumer interests.  The regulators have 90 days to investigate and respond.

At the moment, banks may reimburse victims who have been scammed on credit cards and debit cards as they can claw back funds using Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and chargeback.

However, it is much more difficult for consumers to get their money back from a “bank transfer scam”.

In these cases, banks usually say they simply followed the instructions of the customer and are not liable.

Ellen Wright had more than £130,000 stolen by a criminal posing as her solicitor. Her bank First Direct said it was “sympathetic” but, as the funds had already been transferred to RBS, it was “out of [its] control”.

Like Dr Wright, Vivian Gabb was also a victim of a conveyancing scam. She lost almost £50,000 on a buy-to-let which was going to be her pension. When she realised the payment had been made to fraudsters, she reported it to her bank Halifax who said: “”While we sympathise with Ms Gabb’s situation, [we] made the payment in accordance with her properly authorised instructions.”

Ms Gabb said: “There is no protection for the consumer. I have very little recourse and the banks don’t have to do anything. Since my case I have read of at least five others but nothing ever changes.”

Santander would not compensate Jackie Klagg who lost £10,000 as a result of a vishing scam. She was called by a fraudster called her purporting to be from TalkTalk who knew specific details of her account and told her he needed to clear her computer of viruses. Santander said it was not liable for her loss.

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