Fraudsters’ use of UK banks
SM&B have advised clients who have been defrauded, their money transferred to a UK bank account, and then quickly on to an account outside of the jurisdiction. In our experience this is a common tactic used by fraudsters and makes recovery of those funds very difficult. If that proves to be the case, the next question to ask is: who is to blame and how can I get my money back?
Sir Peter Burt, former Chief Executive and Governor of the Bank of Scotland thinks that Britain’s banking giants should automatically refund money taken by fraudsters. He said “a bank that opens an account where money is being transferred by a fraudster is an accomplice to fraud”, further adding that the issue is not whether or not the bank could recover the money but instead whether the bank is permitting a fraud to take place by not knowing who their customer is.
Taking on the banks
Though many would be unwilling to take on the banks due to the costs involved in doing so and the potential burden of facing the banks’ costs, Sir Peter said there should be a test case and that the FCA should step in. This may never happen and in the meantime, victims’ options are limited.
Building on our expertise in financial dispute resolution, combined with our reputation for being at the forefront of innovative litigation funding, SM&B has developed an affordable litigation product which protects costs exposure and could enable individuals and businesses with a good case to consider taking on large corporations who have failed in their legal duty, with minimal financial risk.
If you wish to discuss anything in this article or any specific needs your organisation may have please do not hesitate to contact David Phillips.