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No Updated Security Software? Banks May Not Refund You in case of Fraud

I'm more than a little cheesed off with the British Bankers Association (the BBA), the banks' representative body, and its vague attitude to IT security.

Late last year I became aware that the UK banks were less than happy with the amount of money they were having to reimburse customers with for online banking fraud.

As a result, the banks started exhorting customers to install and update their IT security software. Then they started building this suggestion into their terms and conditions.

And now the online banking section of the latest Banking Code from the BBA states - quite clearly - that banks may not always be liable when online banking fraud takes place.

Let's get specific here:

Section 12.13 of the Code says: "Unless you have acted fraudulently or without reasonable care - for example by not following the advice in section 12.9 - you will not be liable for losses caused by someone else which take place through your online banking service."Section 12.9 of the Banking Code, meanwhile, gives punters advice about how to protect their online banking activities including keeping your PC secure - using up-to-date antivirus and spyware software along with a personal firewall.

Quite a few newswires have started picking up on this issue, with bankers talking blithely about "a balance of responsibility" and other PR-speak when it comes to applying the Banking Code.

It's a fairly safe bet that there will come a day, in the not too distant future, when the BBA and its members won't pay out if a customer hasn't got all the available IT security software installed on their PC and can prove it is up to date.

How on earth do you do that? Ask your IT security software supplier for a copy of the update logs? For free software? Forget it.

This is a potential minefield that is just waiting to go off. And it will go off, mark my words.... Banks, don't you just love them...