City watchdog, the FSA (Financial Services Authority), is
encouraging banks to engage consumers in tackling online fraud. It comes
in the FSA's Financial Risk Outlook 2006, due out Wednesday.
The publication highlights the risks the FSA believes will be important
in the next 18 months, and how these may affect the regulator's ability
to meet its statutory objectives and strategic aims.
In a chapter on financial crime the watchdog outlines the key findings
of consumer research undertaken to gauge confidence in internet banking.
The research found that consumer confidence in internet banking is fragile.
Half of active internet users said they were 'extremely' or 'very' concerned
about the potential fraud risk of making an online transaction.
Consumers who conduct their banking online are taking steps to protect
themselves against fraud, by installing security software on their PC,
but over a quarter didn't know when they last updated their software or
updated it infrequently.
Meanwhile, 5% of online bankers have no security software installed on
their PC at all - the most common reasons cited including: "it is
too expensive", that they "don't need it" or they "don't
understand" what it is.
Elsewhere, 59% of internet users believe it's possible that someone could
access an online account and commit fraud without the account holder having
supplied their log-in details. Only 21% find it unlikely. 45-54 year olds
are most concerned (54%) about online fraud while 15-17 year olds are
least concerned (38%).
Nearly all users (95%) surveyed believe that at least some security responsibility
should lie with the bank while 45% believe banks should take sole responsibility.
According to APACs, the UK Payment Association, fraud losses through
internet banking were £14.5 million in the six months to June 2005.
Although this is relatively low, losses have more than trebled since the
same period in 2004 (£4 million).
The FSA's research found that if banks were to tackle these losses by
shifting the liability fully towards the consumer, more than three quarters
(77%) of users say they would abandon internet banking.
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