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Helping to keep your money safe: The new APP Scams Code

28th May 2019

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Starling Bank’s Financial Crime Specialist Laurie Hood introduces the Authorised Push Payment Scams Voluntary Code.


Financial fraud has become very sophisticated and such crimes can have a devastating impact on victims. Building on our existing activity to tackle fraud, Starling Bank has today made a commitment to adhere to a new voluntary industry code designed to better protect and educate our customers, increase vigilance and combat financial crime.

The Code, which forms part of something called the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) focuses on detecting, deterring and protecting victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with APP, or the potentially devastating consequences that can arise from these scams, you can find out more in my blog posts on this topic - which include some tips for protecting yourself, friends and family.

What is the CRM?

The CRM sets out the circumstances in which the victims of APP scams could get their money back, and which bank, or Payment Service Provider (PSP) - either the receiving or sending PSP - might be responsible for this.

When an APP fraud has occurred, consideration will be given to whether the PSPs had met certain standards and whether the victim had applied a reasonable level of care and vigilance.

It is important to highlight that this does not guarantee that victims of APP will be reimbursed and that the Code will only apply to transactions occurring on or after 28 May 2019.

Why is Starling Bank adhering to the code?

The answer is simply, because we think it is the right thing to do. But why?

All banks have a responsibility to protect their customers - by adhering to the voluntary code with a handful of other institutions at this early stage Starling is displaying its commitment to collaboratively tackle financial crime, and to reduce the number of APP cases and also the impact on victims.

It’s important to remember that the proceeds of APP scams can be used to fund further crime, both financial and violent, throughout the UK and beyond.

What is changing?

In terms of day-to-day banking, you may notice additional security measures in place, when making payments from your Starling account.

It’s very important that customers pay attention to these and follow any instructions. When making payments, customers should also make sure that:

  • The person they pay is the person they were expecting to pay
  • That the payment is for genuine goods or services
  • The person or business they are paying is legitimate

What can I do to protect myself?

Read our page about fraud, which provides more useful information to help protect yourself, and your loved ones, from becoming victims.

If you believe you have been the victim of an APP scam, you should in the first instance contact your bank to report this from today. You may also want to report to Action Fraud, UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, which is run by the City of London police with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

What else are we doing here at Starling on this?

As for things at Starling HQ - we’ve been hiring across all of our teams as we continue to grow. Our financial crime team is no different - we’re lucky to have some of the best and brightest minds around continuing to look after our customers.

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