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Mirapoint calls for FSA code of practice to stop phishing

As yet another phishing email circulated late last week, this time purporting to come from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Mirapoint, the secure email specialist, has called on the FSA to develop an online code of conduct on how banks should contact their customers.

Mirapoint claims that the RBS has warned its customers over the latest phishing emails by saying: "We would never ask customers to provide us with this type of information by email."

However, Mike Naylor, principal researcher at consumer organisation Which? recently said that while banks claim they never do this, some banks in fact do - sending out a mixed message to the public.

Barry Ariko, Mirapoint's CEO, said that, whilst it's impossible for the banks by themselves to stop the distribution of phishing emails, they could certainly do a better job of projecting a united front to consumers.

"What's needed is an online code of conduct, overseen by the FSA, that clearly defines how banks will communicate with their customers, including the type of information they will and won't request," he said.

According to Ariko, the code should then be promoted and advertised to consumers as the definitive statement on email communications from banks.

"This would then enable recipients of scam messages to confidently delete them," he explained.

I think he has a point. However, given that the FSA has a pretty pathetic track record on solving equally important problems (the Equitable Life disaster springs to mind) I wouldn't go holding your breath waiting for action...