Leader comment: Bank scams won't go away

Royal Bank of Scotland chief Ross McEwan is correct up to a point when he states that banks should not always be held responsible if customers reveal account details to online scammers.

Ross McEwan, chief executive of RBS, under fire for online fraud comments. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Ross McEwan, chief executive of RBS, under fire for online fraud comments. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

There no doubt has to be a degree of responsibility placed on people to remain vigilant and Mr McEwan rightly talks about a “duty of care”.

However, in some respects the rapid progression towards online banking represents a sea change for many loyal customers, who are by no means technically savvy and due to branch closures have been left with no option but to bank online. Another factor to consider is the sheer pace at which the scammers evolve, with ever more sophisticated methods enabling them to stay one step ahead of banking security systems.

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No matter how unpalatable any remarks made by the head of a bank bailed out to the tune of £46 billion and 72 per cent taxpayer-owned are – we have to face up to this ongoing cyber threat.

So, Mr McEwan has a point, but agreement has to be reached with customers over how much the bank can protect them.