Banks and other financial institutions are deliberately failing to report incidents of online fraud to the police, possibly because they are worried about the potential damage to their reputations, a senior police officer said yesterday reports the Guardian.
The paper says Metropolitan police officer, detective superintendent Russell Day, told a group of MPs investigating the fast-growing problem of identity theft, that banks were keeping quiet about attacks on their systems, either because of concerns over public confidence or because they lacked confidence in the ability of the police to deal with such crimes.
One MP said the true cost of identity theft to the UK economy could be much greater than the official figure of £1.7bn a year.
Giving evidence to the all-party parliamentary group on identity fraud, Day, from the Met's economic and e-crime unit, told MPs that one of the biggest threats was posed by "botnets" - networks of infected home computers that can be used to launch attacks on companies' security systems and send out spam emails.
"Financial institutions are not reporting it [these attacks] to law enforcement [agencies], and there could be two reasons for that. It could be one of consumer confidence, but I think that to be honest it is their lack of confidence in law enforcement to deal with it. And they are right. Because of the global nature of this, it doesn't fit in with our priorities," he said.
DEPARTMENT for Work and Pensions (DWP) officials have been ordered to appear before Sir Andrew Collins in the High Court today to explain why the DWP failed to meet an earlier deadline to co-operate with a judicial review into the collapse of 125,00 workers' company pensions, reports the Telegraph.
It says Mr Justice Collins indicated his displeasure at the DWP missing the November 22 deadline when he said: "I shall require a full explanation why the 35-day time limit was not met. The rules are there to be obeyed and an application to extend time should have been made before it expired; simply announcing that there would be non-compliance is hardly acceptable."
Ros Altmann, a London School of Economics governor who is advising the Pensions Action Group, said: "The Government's attitude to the victims is symptomatic of its behaviour in this whole issue. It believes that it can behave as it likes, ignore the rules that everyone else has to live by. Indeed, the Government is still threatening the claimants with unlimited costs
"Fortunately, the judge is standing up to the DWP and clearly stating that such behaviour is unacceptable."
But a DWP spokesman said: "We are in no way cavalier about these issues as we recognise there is strong feeling about our decisions. This is why we are happy for the issues to be argued out in court. "We do not believe it is appropriate to discuss specific details of the review but we remain committed to the proceeding and intend to co-operate fully."
LLOYDS TSB attempted to divert attention yesterday from the second rise in its unauthorised overdraft rate in three months with the launch of an American-style scheme to encourage saving, reports the Times.
It says while critics blasted the bank for lifting its interest rate on unapproved overdrafts to 18.3%, the bank announced a pioneering scheme to help customers to save the odd pennies on debit card purchases.
The overdraft interest-rate rise will boost revenues at Lloyds, which has 25% of the UK current account market, by £19.32m.
Since the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced an investigation into unauthorised overdraft charges in September, a number of banks, including Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland, have increased their unauthorised overdraft rates. Lloyds TSB is the first to raise rates twice, first from 15.5% to 18% and now to 18.3%.IFAonline
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