Banks Accused of Hiding Online Fraud

The Guardian reports that banks and other financial institutions are deliberately failing to report incidents of online fraud to the police, possibly because they are worried about the potential damage to their reputations.

Online banking fraud losses amounted to £22.5m in the first six months of this year - up 55% on the £14.5m of losses during the same period last year.

Metropolitan Police officer, Detective Superintendent Russell Day, told a group of MPs investigating the fast-growing problem of identity theft, that banks were keeping quiet about attacks on their systems, either because of concerns over public confidence or because they lacked confidence in the ability of the police to deal with such crimes. One MP said the true cost of identity theft to the UK economy could be much greater than the official figure of £1.7bn a year.