Santander rated least secure online bank for UK customers

Santander has been rated the worst UK bank when it comes to the online security of its customers ranking far behind every other high street bank and building society

Which?’s July survey investigated 10 banks and building societies with the help of Pen Test Partners and found that Santander came bottom of the pile with an embarrassing overall security score of 47 per cent.

Santander fell down due to the way it “dealt with the security around the log out process” and Which? has since shared its concerns with the bank but “still has concerns” so “will continue to work with Santander”.

NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland [RBS] was top of the pile with a score of 76 per cent, the Co-operative Bank and HSBC scoring 72 per cent in second place with Barclays taking fourth with 71 per cent.

The full list of banks and building societies was as follows:

  • NatWest/RBS - 76 per cent
  • The Co-operative Bank - 72 per cent
  • HSBC - 72 per cent
  • Barclays - 71 per cent
  • Norwich and Peterborough Building Society - 70 per cent
  • Lloyds TSB - 69 per cent
  • Nationwide Building Society - 69 per cent
  • Smile - 68 per cent
  • Halifax - 67 per cent
  • Santander - 47 per cent

The consumer watchdog had a list of criteria that it marked banks against including login security, logout security, security in place for transferring money to a new payee, and additional security put in place when changing personal details online. It also looked at whether an online banking site allowed the use of forward and back buttons on a browser as well as the encryption put in place to guard against threats and specific attacks.

Which? praised NatWest/RBS for making customers use a card reader to carry out “higher risk tasks” that include transferring money to a new payee or changing the online password. It was also impressed at being locked out of the account for 10 minutes after trying to access the account from two different IP addresses.

CEOs from a number of top companies told the Lloyds Risk Index that cybercrime is one of the top three concerns they have and Barclays and Santander have both been targeted by large scale cyber attacks in recent weeks.