£55m of fraud prevented by rapid response scheme

27th July 2023

Over £55.5 million of fraud was prevented last year thanks to the Banking Protocol rapid scam response scheme, according to the latest figures from UK Finance.

The Banking Protocol is a UK-wide scheme developed by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and local police forces. Bank and building society staff are trained to spot the warning signs that a customer either in branch or phoning the organisation might be falling victim to a scam, before alerting their local police force to intervene and investigate. £258.2 million of fraud has been prevented since the scheme was established in 2016, and 1,202 arrests have been made.

Customers assisted by the scheme are offered ongoing support to help prevent them from falling victim to scams in the future, including referrals to social services, expert fraud prevention advice and additional checks on future transactions. The Banking Protocol is often used to prevent impersonation scams, in which criminals imitate police or bank staff and convince people to visit their bank and withdraw or transfer large sums of money. It is also used to prevent romance fraud, in which fraudsters use fake online dating profiles to trick victims into transferring money, and to catch rogue traders who demand cash for unnecessary work on properties.

Ben Donaldson, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said “The Banking Protocol continues to help prevent people falling victim to fraud and prevents millions of pounds getting into the hands of criminals. This is a brilliant demonstration of collaboration between the police and the banking sector and it will continue to be an important part of the industry’s efforts to prevent fraud.”

2022 Total since 2016 launch
Amount of fraud prevented £55.5mn £258.2mn
Number of arrests 197 1,202
Number of calls made by branch staff to police 11,643 45,488