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Next UK government should make Big Tech pay to fight scams – UK Finance

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The next UK government should introduce a bill that forces technology, social media and telecoms firms to contribute £40 million a year to fight fraud and scams, says UK Finance.

Authorised Push Payment fraud has soared in recent years, with UK losses of more than $500 million last year. To tackle this, regulators are rolling out new rules for the banking industry that, from October, will see the vast majority of money lost to APP frauds reimbursed to victims.

However, UK banks have long been campaigning for big tech, social media and telcos to take more responsibility for fraud that originates from their platforms. According to UK Finance, 76% of APP fraud originates online and another 16% in the telco sector.

Last year, 11 tech and social media firms signed up to a UK Online Fraud Charter to combat the rising level of scams from fake adverts and romance fraud.

Now, UK Finance is calling for government to take a tougher approach, drawing on this voluntary charter for a bill.

“In addition, to expand resources for fighting fraud and economic crime online platforms, internet service providers and telecommunications companies could be brought into the scope of the Economic Crime Levy. Doing so would raise over £40 million a year to invest in better technology and recruit specialist officers and incentivise action to reduce fraud,” says the finance industry body.

Elsewhere in its ‘financial services manifesto‘ ahead of the general election, UK Finance is asking for a net zero roadmap, the “championing” of the National Payments Vision, support for open banking, and the issuance of a digital gilt backed by HM Treasury to encourage the development of securities tokenisation.

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