Banks delay refunds to card fraud victims

Nearly a third of card fraud victims are having to wait to get their money back, according to new Which? research, despite obligations on banks to refund customers immediately.

The survey of more than 4,000 Which? members revealed 29% of those suffering credit and debit card fraud are having to wait weeks or even months to get their cash back. The research found Barclays and Barclaycard customers were least likely to be reimbursed immediately, with nearly four in 10 (39%) customers experiencing delays. Even the best in our snapshot survey, First Direct, delayed refunds to 17% of customers.

However, 98% of people reporting fraud that we surveyed eventually got their money back, indicating that too many card providers are being unfairly suspicious of their customers when it comes to card fraud.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:

“Our research shows that banks are too often failing to refund customers immediately when they have been victims of fraud. With £340 million lost to card fraud a year, there are large sums at stake that can leave people seriously out of pocket and unable to pay essential bills.

“Banks are required by law to give victims of fraud an immediate refund, unless they have evidence that person is acting fraudulently or with gross negligence. They should do everything they can to help people who find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own, as part of the big change that’s urgently needed to make banks work for customers not bankers.”

Notes to editors

Read the full Which? Magazine article on card fraud here.

1. Which? interviewed 10,094 members between 14 – 21 November. Of those 4,144 had fallen victim of card fraud.

** Egg credit cards are no longer available.
** Overall sample size of 3,264 does not include ‘other’ card providers.

2.   At Which? we report on a minimum overall bank sample size of at least 30 to ensure our surveys are reliable and representative of the population. Statistics marked with an * mean that although the overall sample size for each card provider is at least 30, the number of people who responded to that specific option is below 30.

3.   According to the UK Cards Association, total fraud losses on UK cards totalled £185 million between January and June 2012. This is a 9% increase on losses in the first half of 2011 (£169.8 million).

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