UK banks achieved the biggest reduction in card fraud losses last year among 18 countries across Europe, according to the updated FICO European Fraud Map. More than half of the countries saw increases in card fraud losses in 2019 according to the report, based on data from Euromonitor International and UK Finance.

Toby Carlin, Director of Fraud consulting in EMEA at FICO said “Following a frustrating increase in 2018 — largely caused by an explosion of data compromise ‘bust out’ events — much of Europe has once again turned the tide on fraudsters, achieving a combined 2% overall reduction.”

“British consumers should be reassured that the United Kingdom achieved the largest single reduction in fraud at 8%. This is a testament to the anti-fraud activities and investments by UK banks, which reduced fraud losses in 2019 by £52 million – that’s a million pounds every week.”

2019 was a strong year for many European countries in reducing basis point fraud losses (a ratio of fraud losses to card sales), against the backdrop of increased transactional volume and value in 2019. But there were also some worrying increases. Most notably, France and Italy saw the largest value increases, and were together responsible for 71% of the monetary loss increases across the 18 countries studied.

Carlin added “2020 has been a challenging environment for all, with COVID-19 having significant impacts on the transaction mix and threat.”

“This has exposed many frameworks that were already pressured, with fraudsters now attempting to make up for lost time with increased volume and ferocity of their attacks. While our Fraud Map focuses on plastics fraud and, in particular, card-not-present fraud, this is just part of the story. The biggest threat today comes from digital fraud and scams which continue to increase exponentially across all markets.”