Black victims of fraud are more than twice as likely to be denied a refund by their bank as white customers according to Cambridge University

More than a fifth of complaints about not getting their money back are from ethnic minorities, even though they make up around only 10% of the population.

The research comes from a survey released by the Financial Ombudsman. It also ties into over 2,000 cases reported over 25 years to the security research group at Cambridge University.

In addition, more than 10,000 customers have complained to the ombudsman about not getting their money back. According to the rules, victims should be reimbursed expect in the cases of fraudulent claims or gross negligence.

The survey of 1,300 complainants revealed that black customers are more likely to not get their money back. Only 3% of the population is black but more than 6% of complainants were from this group. White customers were the group most likely to get a refund.

Also suggested by the survey was that ethnic minorities are less likely to be refunded at some banks than others. Non-white customers made up a third of complainants from HSBC, but 19% at Nationwide.

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In a statement, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said: “This data is not a representative or credible sample of complaints upheld by ethnicity. It is therefore inaccurate to draw wider conclusions from it. Banks don’t base their decisions on the ethnic origin of their customers and they industry is always seeking to improve how it prevents fraud and supports the victims of fraud.”