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Boosting regional cooperation in war against scammers

Boosting regional cooperation in war against scammers

10 June 2024

Banks will this week join a scams delegation to Singapore as part of the industry’s ongoing efforts to take up the fight to scammers and protect customers. 

The delegation will be led by Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones and include representatives from the Australian Banking Association, Customer-Owned Banking Association, Australian banks, the National Anti-Scam Centre, Australian Financial Crimes Exchange as well as observers from the Government of New Zealand. 

ABA CEO Anna Bligh said Australian banks had some of the strongest anti-scam protections in the world and this was an opportunity to share approaches and information with other jurisdictions.  

“Scams are not unique to Australia. This is an issue that many countries across the world and in our region are also grappling with,” Ms Bligh said.  

“This is a global problem and winning the war against scammers will require a global effort. 

“We know that highly sophisticated international criminal gangs are behind many scams. That’s why ongoing cross-jurisdictional cooperation and information sharing will be crucial in this ongoing fight against scammers.  

“Scammers are always innovating and finding new ways to steal money. It’s critical Government and industry look at the different ways jurisdictions are tackling scams and what more can be done to protect customers. 

“We are making inroads here in Australia with financial losses from scams trending down and fighting scams across international borders is essential to keeping Australians safe.  

“As the Federal Government develops a new SMS Sender ID Registry, the delegation will have the opportunity to get firsthand insights from Singapore’s SMS Register operators after two years of operation. 

“This will also be an opportunity to showcase to other jurisdictions our industry’s Scam-Safe Accord which is a set of world-leading protections by banks to shield customers from scammers.” 

Customer-Owned Banking Association CEO Michael Lawrence said scams are a borderless crime, and no single bank or no single country can solve this alone.  

“This trip to Singapore is an important step in strengthening regional alliances against scams, and we’re committed to collaborating across borders to share best practices so we can accelerate our ability to develop cutting-edge anti-scam solutions,” Mr Lawrence said.  

“Scams have a ripple effect, harming not only individuals but also the financial well-being of their communities. As financial institutions deeply rooted in our communities, customer-owned banks are dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of the customers we serve.  

“By working together, we can create a more secure financial environment for everyone and protect our customers from financial harm – regardless of where they live or who they bank with.” 

The banking industry’s Scam-Safe Accord includes:   

  • a $100 million investment by banks in a new confirmation of payee system, ensuring people can confirm they are transferring money to the person they intend to  
  • introducing more warnings and payment delays to protect customers   
  • adopting further technology and controls to help prevent identity fraud, such as the use of at least one biometric check for new individual customers opening accounts   
  • investing in a major expansion of intelligence sharing across the sector   
  • all banks to implement anti-scams strategies.   

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