Fraud losses on UK cards fell year-on-year in the first half of 2011 as did fraud on online bank accounts. However, cheque fraud increased (up 17%) and fraud on phone banking accounts soared (by 48%) over the same period.

Total fraud losses on UK cards fell by 9% to £169.8m ($262m) in the 6 months to 30 June: the lowest loss for 11 years and the 3rdconsecutive decrease.

Online banking fraud losses totalled £16.9m for the first half, down by 32% year-on-year.

Fraud figures released by the National Fraud Authority (NFA) earlier in the year serve to put these banking fraud losses into perspective.

The NFA estimated that fraud in all its guises costs the UK more than £38bn a year with card and banking fraud accounting for only 1.2% of this figure.

Martin Warwick, fraud expert at data analytics and decision management technology provider, FICO, said:

“These figures confirm that the various security measures promoted by the industry in recent years are making a difference.

“Card fraud is declining as banks and card issuers are using more analytics-based fraud systems and increasing the sophistication of their fraud management operations.

The introduction of Chip-and-PIN here and abroad has been a success story and banks are gradually using more verification software for online shopping.

“But the fraud problem won’t go away. Criminals will try harder to find new ways as well as resorting to old methods for scams and banks will be required to keep pace with the new developments and lock down the old gaps.”

William Beer, a director in PwC’s Information and Cyber Security practice said:

“It is important to note that cyber-crime is global, as are many of the banks that criminals target, so figures based solely on UK fraud might not tell the whole story.
"The threats from the internet represent a massive challenge shared by public and private sectors worldwide.

“To meet the imperatives of the cyber era, we believe that public and private sector organisations will need to adopt new structures, roles and governance, while also engaging in close and continuing collaboration around the cyber agenda with other organisations."