One hundred and seventy thousand pounds of fraud has been prevented by Humberside Police thanks to the introduction of the Banking Protocol, a ground-breaking scheme aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society.
Developed as a partnership between the finance industry, police and trading standards, the Banking Protocol lets bank branch staff contact police immediately if they suspect a customer is being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch.
Since it was introduced in November 2017 a total of 42 emergency calls have been taken and responded to.
Branch staff, call handlers, police and trading standards officers have all been trained in the Banking Protocol and the steps that need to be taken when a customer is at risk.
Across the country 3,682 emergency calls have been taken and responded to because of the Banking Protocol which has led to a total of 197 arrests. Almost £25m in fraud countrywide has been prevented.
As well as stopping frauds taking place, the scheme provides support to individuals to prevent them becoming a victim in the future.
UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the Banking Protocol, with support from the National Trading Standards Scam team and the Joint Fraud Taskforce.
Detective Sergeant Ivan Simms from Humberside Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: “This is a fantastic initiative that Humberside Police and the banking industry have introduced.
“It’s specifically aimed at identifying vulnerable victims of fraud and financial abuse and acting positively and promptly to prevent the loss of large amounts of money.
“I think the results that have been achieved already speak for themselves. This is a great example of Humberside Police working with the communities to make them safer and stronger.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said: “Fraud can have a devastating impact on victims and is often targeted at the most vulnerable people in society, which is why we must work together to prevent it.
“The Banking Protocol shows how close cooperation between the industry and law enforcement can help to protect victims and crack down on fraudsters.
“This kind of joined-up approach is crucial to stay one step ahead and ensure that unscrupulous scammers preying on customers are brought to justice.”