William Fox Bregman

Partner, Solicitor & Head of Banking and Finance Litigation

DATE PUBLISHED: 25 Mar 2020 LAST UPDATED: 05 Feb 2024

Authorised Push Payment Fraud (“APP”)

What is the APP Fraud?

An APP scam occurs when an individual knowingly or unwittingly transfers money from their own bank account to another which belongs to a scammer. We have seen examples of scammers pretending to be from your bank or a fake company set up alleging to be an investment company. In 2018 £1.2 billion was lost to fraud and are becoming even more complex and convincing to unsuspecting victims.

Authorised Push Payment Scam Code

The Authorise Push Payment Scam Code was launched on 28 May 2019 and has been implemented by a number of banks in the UK. If your bank has signed up to the Code it must take steps to:

  1. Educate customers about APP scams;
  2. Identify higher risk payment and customers who are vulnerable and therefore higher to becoming a victim;
  3. Provide efficient warnings to customers if an APP scam has been identified;
  4. Stopping or delaying payments where there are scam concerns; and
  5. Taking steps to stop fraudsters opening bank accounts.

There are over 20 Banks that have signed up to the Code and to name a few include Lloyds Bank Plc, Barclays Plc, National Westminster Bank, Santander and Nationwide Building Society. If you bank had signed up to the Code then a complaint can be made to them and if you do not receive a not satisfactory response then the Financial Ombudsman Service may also be an available option for complaint.


MP’s have urged Financial Companies to consider reimbursing the many thousands of victims of bank transfer scams dating back to 2016. They have also urged retailers and other companies that suffer data breaches that lead to fraud to cover the costs of reimbursing customers and issuing new bank cards. It is hoped that the recommendations will result in a change in the law to require financial companies to refund victims of the scams.

MPs have also recommended a mandatory 24-hour delay on all first-time payments between bank accounts to try to out smart the fraudsters and minimise this kind of financial crime. Currently the online faster payment system means consumers are
able to send money to other accounts in seconds. The majority of internet and phone banking payments in the UK are now processed in this way however MPs now want to slow things down in order to beat the criminals. The recommendations
come as part of a report by the Commons Treasury committee. The report was published after official data showed that scammers stole £616 million from UK bank customers in the first half of 2019. Of this, £207.5 million was lost after people were tricked into authorising a payment to an account controlled by a criminal. The figure is a 40% increase on the same period in 2018.

The committee has suggested the APP Code should be made compulsory via legislation and it has been acknowledge by MP’s that the Code will help those previously affected by APP Fraud.

How Can Ellis Jones Assist You?

Our specialist Banking and Finance Litigation team can advise and assist you in submitting an initial complaint to your Bank and any subsequent complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you believe you are a victim a scam.

If you believe you may be due compensation please do not hesitate to contact William Fox Bregman in our Banking and Finance Litigation team by calling 01202 525333 or by email at banking@ellisjones.co.uk.

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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