12 Feb 2024

Australian banks move on anti-scam measures

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 12 February 2024

Photo: 123RF

Banks in Australia are introducing anti-scam measures to better protect customers - but advocates here we are way behind the 8-ball. An estimated $200m is lost each year by Kiwis to scams, with the Banking Ombudsman's latest report putting complaints about scams up 43 percent on the year before.  The Banking Association says it is "progressing" towards establishing a national Anti-Scam Centre and says it'll have more information in April. But financial commentator Janine Starks, who is advocating for a group of bank customers scammed out of millions of dollars, says the banking industry is taking too long to respond, and she is calling for a government inquiry. She says government intervention is urgently needed to bring the sector into line, and follow the examples in Australia and the United Kingdom, which she says are streets ahead in their use of technology to block scams. Kathryn also speaks with Stephanie Tonkin, Chief Executive of the Australian Consumer Action Law Centre which, along with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has been pushing for change in that country.