SCAM victims could lose their life savings if a long-term refund pot deal is not agreed soon with banks, consumer experts warn.
A voluntary code was launched by the banks in May. It made it easier for people tricked into transferring money directly to a fraudster to get their money back.
Victims previously lost large amounts because they had authorised the payment — so banks were not obliged to refund them.
A refund pot was agreed up until the end of this year but experts say time is running out to agree a long-term solution.
Which? and trade association UK Finance have written to payments body Pay.UK, urging it to approve a plan to ensure bank transfer fraud victims continue to get their money back in the “no blame scenario”.
Which? said the final decision sits with Pay.UK, “which now has the important task of either ensuring the favoured industry and consumer group proposal is agreed, or making a decision that risks blameless scam victims being left unprotected from January 1”.
UK Finance jointly wrote on behalf of HSBC, Santander, Barclays, Lloyds, Metro, Nationwide and RBS.
Which? said the plan — for banks to pay a small fee on some transfers to collectively fund the pot — was agreed after months of talks.
It would see a 2.9p levy applied to some types of faster payment. Losses to this type of scam — also known as authorised push payment — rose to £147million in the first six months of this year.
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