Banks are leaving open doors for scammers with flaws in both web and app security, consumer group finds

  • A study found several banks were missing basic protections against online fraud 
  • Four categories tested on online banking and app security of UKs biggest banks 
  • HSBC came out on top for app security while Starling came first for online safety
  • Virgin Money was lowest scorer across the board behind Lloyds and NatWest 

Basic security flaws on some of the biggest banks’ websites and apps are putting consumers at increased risk of fraud, research has shown.

A study by Which? found that several banks were missing basic protections, and fuelling a multi-billion-pound fraud epidemic.

More than 29,000 cases of remote banking fraud were reported to industry body UK Finance in the first half of 2022 alone. So Which? tested the security systems of 13 current account providers from September to November 2022.

The banks were tested across four key categories – login, navigation and logout, account management, and encryption – for both their online banking and app security, and given a final score out of 100 per cent.

HSBC came out top for its app security (82 per cent), and second for online security (80 per cent). Meanwhile, Starling came first for online security (82 per cent), and its app came tied for second with Barclays (80 per cent). However, Barclays’ online security only scored 69 per cent.

More than 29,000 cases of remote banking fraud were reported to industry body UK Finance in the first half of 2022 alone

NatWest came third for online security (77 per cent) but eighth for its app (66 per cent).

And Lloyds scored worse again, coming fourth (75 per cent) for online security and in eleventh place (62 per cent) for its app.

Virgin Money scored the lowest for both its online (52 per cent) and app (54 per cent) security.

Deputy editor of Which? Money, Sam Richardson, said: ‘Banks should not be leaving these open doors for scammers… and must up their game to protect customers properly.’

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