HSBC launches fraud awareness app for businesses

HSBC UK has become the first High Street bank to launch a free news-style fraud awareness app to protect businesses from scams.

According to the National Crime Agency, fraud costs the UK private sector more than £140 billion a year.

Data from HSBC UK Commercial Banking found that the most common scams targeted at business customers during 2020 were purchases scams, where non-existent products and services were sold, with an average of £3,000 lost by businesses in each case, invoice and mandate scams, costing victims an average of £24,000 per case, and impersonation scams which saw average losses of £6,500 per case.

HSBC said that while not the most common, investment scams were the most damaging financially to business customers during 2020 with each case costing victims more than £27,000.

The bank’s fraud awareness app will include with up-to-date and trending fraud information and provide tips and advice on the signs to be aware of.

The app aims to arm businesses with information about new and emerging scam types which often take advantage of global and national news and events, as seen with the rise in scams related to the pandemic during the past year.

As well as sending users notifications on new scams and fraud tactics, the free app will include advice and tips on how to avoid falling victim to fraud and provide real-life stories from customers.

“It is our absolute priority to protect our customers from unscrupulous criminals who target businesses for their own financial gain and we constantly update and evolve our processes to stop these criminals and prevent customers falling victim to scams,” said Peter McIntyre, head of small business banking for HSBC UK Commercial Banking. “We’ve launched this app to go one step further and help all UK businesses, not just our own customers, knowledge is power and we want to help businesses be as prepared as possible to stop these fraudsters in their tracks."

McIntyre added: “We firmly believe that by arming businesses with this latest information and advice they will be better placed to spot frauds and scams before they have parted with any of their hard-earned funds.”

Martyn Pointer, business innovation manager for HSBC UK, has led the development and deployment of the app.

He said that the bank has worked closely with businesses to make sure the app includes the information and advice needed to help prevent fraud.

“The feedback from customers who have already used the app has been really positive which led us to the decision to make this available to all businesses, whether they are customers or not, free of charge,” added Pointer.

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