UK Banking Protocol & Victim Money Recovery

UK Banking Protocol & Victim Money Recovery

How The United Kingdom Is Better Supporting Scam Victims

Money Recovery – A SCARS Insight

The United Kingdom’s Banking Protocol Helps Support Victims, Stop Fraud, And Help To Refund Victim’s Money

What is the UK Banking Protocol?

The UK’s Banking Protocol is a legal framework designed to protect customers from scams.

It is a partnership between UK banks, UK building societies, UK post offices, and the UK police. It is exclusive to the United Kingdom.

Under the Banking Protocol, bank staff are trained to spot the signs that a customer may be being scammed. If they suspect that a customer is being scammed, they will intervene by asking them a series of questions to try to verify their identity and the transaction they are trying to make. If the bank staff are still concerned, they may call the police to speak with a potential scam victim.

The Banking Protocol also allows bank staff to delay or cancel a transaction if they believe that it is fraudulent. This can give the customer time to reconsider and contact the police themself and file a complaint.

The Banking Protocol is particularly important for vulnerable customers, such as the elderly and those with dementia. Scammers often target these groups because they are more likely to be tricked.

What can UK Banks do under the Banking Protocol?

Under the Banking Protocol, UK banks can take a number of steps when they suspect a scam, including:

  • Ask the customer questions. Bank staff may intervene and ask the customer a series of questions to try to verify their identity and the transaction they are trying to make. For example, they may ask the customer to provide their full name, address, date of birth, and account number. They may also ask the customer to explain why they are making the transaction and to confirm that they are doing so voluntarily.
  • Delay or cancel the transaction. If bank staff are still concerned that the transaction may be fraudulent, they may delay or cancel it. This can give the customer time to reconsider and contact the police.
  • Contact the police. In some cases, bank staff may contact the police directly to report their suspicions. Typically the police will come and talk with the victim in person. The police may then investigate the matter and take appropriate action.

In addition to these steps, banks may also take other measures to protect their customers from scams, such as:

  • Educating staff about scams. Banks train their staff to spot the signs that a customer may be being scammed. This training can help staff to identify scams early on and to take steps to protect their customers.
  • Using technology to detect scams. Banks use a variety of technologies to detect and prevent scams. For example, they may use fraud detection systems to monitor transactions for suspicious activity.
  • Working with other organizations. Banks work with other organizations, such as the police and other financial institutions, to share information about scams and to develop strategies to combat them.

Obtaining a Refund under the UK Banking Protocol

To obtain a refund for money sent to a scammer under the UK Banking Protocol, victims should contact their bank immediately. The bank may be able to help recover the lost funds if the victim acted quickly enough.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Contact your bank immediately after realizing you have been scammed.
  2. Provide your bank with as much information as possible about the scam, including the scammer’s name and contact information, the amount of money you sent, and the method of payment.
  3. Follow your bank’s instructions on how to file a claim.

You should also file a police complaint through ActionFraud or your local police immediately.

If you are unable to recover your funds through your bank, you may be able to file a claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Financial Ombudsman Service is an independent organization that can investigate disputes between consumers and financial institutions.

To file a claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service, you must first try to resolve the dispute with your bank directly. If you are unable to resolve the dispute with your bank, you can then file a claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Here are some tips for increasing your chances of recovering your lost funds:

  • Report the scam to your bank as soon as possible. The sooner you report the scam, the better your chances of recovering your money.
  • Provide your bank with as much information as possible about the scam. This information will help your bank to investigate the scam and to try to recover your money.
  • Be patient. It may take some time for your bank to investigate the scam and to recover your money.

If you have been scammed, it is important to be aware that you may not be able to recover your lost funds. However, by following the steps above, you can increase your chances of recovery.

Why Police Reporting Matters

There are a few reasons why it is very important to file a police complaint in the UK to support money recovery under the UK Banking Protocol:

  • To help the police investigate the scam. By filing a police complaint, you are providing the police with information that they can use to investigate the scam and to try to identify and apprehend the scammers.
  • To provide evidence of the scam to your bank. When you file a police complaint, you will be given a copy of the police report. You can provide this report to your bank as evidence of the scam. This evidence may help your bank to process your claim more quickly and to approve your refund.
  • To create a record of the crime. Even if you are not able to recover your lost funds, filing a police complaint can create a record of the crime. This record may be helpful if you decide to pursue other legal options, such as filing a civil lawsuit against the scammers.

In addition to these reasons, filing a police complaint can also help to deter future scams by helping the police prioritize their enforcement activities. By reporting scams to the police, you are helping to raise awareness of these crimes and make it more difficult for scammers to succeed.

To file a police complaint in the UK, you can contact your local police station or you can report the crime online with ActionFraud. When you file a complaint, you will need to provide the police with as much information as possible about the scam, including the scammer’s name and contact information, the amount of money you sent, and the method of payment.

UK Finance – The Lead Regulatory Agency for the Banking Protocol

According to UK Finance:


Fraud has a devastating emotional impact on victims. The money stolen not only supports the criminals responsible, but can go on to fund organised crime and terrorism which damages our society. It’s why schemes such as the Banking Protocol are so important, as it stops fraud from happening in the first place.

Last year, staff working in bank, building society and post office branches joined with the police to prevent customers from losing more than £45 million of fraud through the Banking Protocol. Under this rapid scam response scheme, branch staff are trained to detect the warning signs that someone is being scammed and to make an emergency call to the police. Police officers will then visit the branch to investigate the suspected fraud and arrest any suspects still on the scene.

The scheme has now prevented £142 million of fraud since it was launched in 2016, according to the latest figures published today by UK Finance.. This close collaborative work between the police and branch staff led to the arrest of 200 suspected criminals during 2020, bringing the total number of arrests to 843 since the scheme began. The criminals arrested included rogue traders that demanded cash for unnecessary work on people’s property, and individuals that persuaded their victims to take out large sums of cash to hand it over to someone posing as a courier. Others impersonated the police, government or banks, or created fake dating profiles in an attempt to steal personal and financial information from innocent victims to commit fraud.

Banks and building societies are now working with law enforcement to build on the success of the scheme and to expand it to cover telephone and online banking. This enables staff working in call centres and in online banking teams to notify the police when customers attempt to make bank transfers which they believe may be the result of a scam. So far, 24 police forces across the UK – over half of all forces – are signed up to the enhanced scheme, which has been particularly important for vulnerable customers who are unable to visit their local branch, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this instance where the customer is not able to attend their branch, staff are able to directly alert the local police who will make a visit to the customer’s home and assess whether they have fallen victim to a scam.?

We are collaborating with our members to see how the enhanced scheme can be rolled out more widely. While the banking industry and police will continue to do everything they can to protect customers from scams and crack down on the criminals responsible, it’s also crucial that people remain vigilant against scams. Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police, so we urge the public to always follow the advice of the?Take Five to Stop Fraud?campaign: remember that a bank or the police will never ask you to transfer funds to another account or to withdraw cash to hand over to them for safe-keeping. Always take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information, and challenge requests for your personal or financial information. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. If you think you?ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud, or Police Scotland if you are in Scotland.


If you have been the victim of a scam, you should contact your bank immediately. They will be able to help you to protect your account and to try to recover your money. You should also report the scam to the police or ActionFraud.

It is important to remember that you are not alone, SCARS is here to help you. Also, know that it was not your fault!

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and they are targeting people of all ages and backgrounds. By filing a police complaint and by taking steps to protect yourself from future scams, you can help to raise awareness of these crimes and make it more difficult for scammers to succeed.

SCARS Resources:

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