Next UK government should introduce scams legislation, says City lobby groups

A leading City lobby group is calling on the next government to bring in scams legislation that forces big tech and social media companies to cough up to £40m a year to reimburse customers and fight fraud on their platforms.

The demand came in a ‘financial services manifesto’ released by UK Finance, which represents banks, payments companies and other financial firms.

UK Finance and its 300 membershave long complained about having to shoulder the costs of fraud against their customers, despite a surge in the number of scammers targeting consumers through platforms such as Facebook and Google.

The government introduced an online fraud charter last year, which saw tech firms voluntarily agree to reducing fraud throughout their platforms and services. However, UK Finance now wants those agreements to be solidified in law through a new fraud and scams bill during the next parliament.

“The next government must make online platforms, internet service providers and telecommunications companies work harder to stop fraudsters exploiting their systems and look at how these sectors can be made to contribute to the cost of fraud reimbursement,” the manifesto, seen by the Guardian, said.

The lobby group also wants to see political parties, including Labour and the Conservatives, commit to laws that would force those same tech firms to pay towards the cost of tackling economic crime and reimbursing victims of fraud.

UK banks are, in many cases, legally required to reimburse customers affected by fraud. Of the £1.2bn lost to fraud in 2023, about £1bn was reimbursed by banks, UK Finance figures showed.

“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,” the UK Finance document said.

“Doing so would raise over £40m a year to invest in better technology and recruit specialist officers and incentivise action to reduce fraud.”

UK Finance is also calling for a government “champion for competitiveness” to be established, which would review and tackle any “burden” posed by regulation.

It comes as interest groups across the UK start jostling to influence the political agenda before the 4 July election.

UK Finance wants the next government to review personal savings allowances and reiterated previous policy proposals, including the creation of a free retrofitting advice portal that could bolster green lending.

TheCityUK, another City lobby group, represents the wider financial and professional services sector, is due to release its own manifesto next week.

It will include key recommendations for the first 100 days of the next government and emphasise a need for “stability, certainty and predictability” after a tumultuous decade marked by political and economic shocks, including Brexit.

The group said it would also “advocate for a close partnership with industry to address issues” that had held back growth.

The Labour and Conservative parties have been contacted for comment.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.