Customer Behaviour

The boss of the Royal Bank of Scotland has reportedly warned that victims of bank fraud should not expect automatic refunds.

Chief executive Ross McEwan insisted it was not the responsibility of banks if customers gave their account details – or money – to online scammers, and said it would be too costly to cover all the losses, according to the Daily Mail.

He told the paper: “We are working very hard to help customers detect when there are difficulties, but I think this has to be in partnership with the customer and with the bank.

“You can’t keep blaming this on an organisation where customers don’t take their own duty of care as well.

“When people are passing their iPads or laptops over with their passwords and the likes, there’s got to be a care here, otherwise this will just become a major issue for all and the cost will pass through.”

Financial Conduct Authority rules state banks must refund victims of fraud unless they can prove negligence.

A spokesman for RBS, which owns NatWest and is still 72% owned by the taxpayer, said where a customer has suffered loss, their situation is reviewed, the facts are established and a decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

Earlier this year it was revealed that more than 150 Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest branches were to be scrapped.

Gareth Shaw, from consumer group Which?, said the banking industry and Government need to take “firmer action” to protect consumers.

He added: “”Banks are still placing too much responsibility on consumers to spot and protect themselves from sophisticated online scams.

“We’ve heard from many people who have lost life-changing amounts of money through bank transfer fraud, through no fault of their own, who are unlikely to get their money back from the banks involved and who have seen little action to help them.”

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