Banks turn monitoring software to high alert


Banks turn monitoring software to high alert

Karl Flinders

Banks are using their fraud monitoring systems to keep a close eye on activity following Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) breach which saw the personal details of 25 million child benefit claimants go missing.

Earlier this week HMRC admitted that two computer discs containing all the information, designed for the National Audit Office, were unaccounted for.

Personal details, such as names, addresses and bank account details, were on the discs. Despite banks reporting no extraordinary fraudulent behaviour on the accounts they have increase vigilance and added processes to reduce risks.

Banks use software to monitor accounts for abnormal behaviour. This intelligence can be used to alert customers and the bank of possible frauds. These systems are always running but this week's panic put them on high alert.

HSBC said that its state of the art fraud detection system has been used to increase visibility.

"We have introduced some different processes, primarily to increase the monitoring of how customers manage their accounts," said an HSBC spokesman. "We are watching for activities such as opening and closing accounts, changing passwords and applications for additional products."

A Barclays Bank spokeswoman said back office systems are constantly monitoring account behaviour. She said systems can be used to analyse activity since the discs went missing rather than when they were reported. "We have gone back and looked at accounts since 18 October when the discs went missing and there has been no extraordinary fraud. [Apart from this] we do not need to do anything different following the data going missing," she added.

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