Combatting financial crime: City of London Police Partnership extended
Lloyds Banking Group extends partnership with City of London Police into a fourth year.
Protecting our customers from fraud and stopping money getting into the hands of criminals is a priority for us, so we’ve extended our partnership with the City of London Police (CoLP) into a fourth year to combine our strengths and capability to help make the UK a safer place for our customers and communities.
Fraud is the biggest crime in the UK and continues to rise, with over £750m lost to fraud in the first six months of 2021, as criminals take advantage of the vulnerable and increased online activities during the pandemic.
Criminals are constantly finding new ways of tricking people into handing over their money. It’s no longer enough for us as a bank to identify when a payment may be fraudulent or where a customer may be engaged in a scam - it’s vital that we work together across industries, with partners such as the CoLP, to address the root causes and prevent people from falling victim in the first place.
£1.5 million to improve the detection of financial crime
We are very proud of the partnership we’ve built together. Since joining forces in 2018, our relationship has given us a unique opportunity to design and deliver fraud preventative initiatives which have improved the detection of crime, helping the police to catch criminals and protect the public.
Hundreds of arrests and over £200,000 returned to romance fraud victims
Our contribution of £1.5 million over a three-year period has supported the set-up of a new operations unit in London for the control and coordination of fraud operations. Our funding has also enabled the expansion of the CoLP’s Intelligence Development team (IDT), who have successfully undertaken over 350 new investigations and made 220 arrests in relation to courier fraud alone, as recognised and praised by the Security Minister.
The expansion of the CoLP’s IDT has made it possible for more intelligence officers to join the unit and to develop and share actionable fraud intelligence across law enforcement. This has produced a more focused and consistent approach to fraud across mainstream policing, which has led to numerous key arrests of individuals involved in serious and organised crime. The IDT is now seen across the industry as a leading real time intelligence team who coordinate counter fraud activity across UK policing.
Our contribution of
over a three-year period has supported the set-up of a new operations unit in London
Through collaboration with UK police and international law enforcement we have helped make significant headway in tackling romance fraud, which has a devastating impact on victims’ lives. A sub partnership with the Ghanaian authorities, an area where organised crime gangs facilitate romance fraud, has helped return over £200,000 back to victims in the UK. Many arrests have been made with significant disruption to criminal gang activity.
Together with the CoLP, we have worked with the dating industry to identify and remove over 650 fake profiles on dating sites, preventing close to 20,000 users of the dating public from being scammed. Victim care units are being set up across police regions and safeguarding has been put in place to help hundreds of vulnerable and distressed people impacted by this cruel crime.
Skills to stop fraud and scams
Fraud training has been a key priority for the partnership and a new online learning platform has been created, offering advanced fraud and cyber education courses to give mainstream police greater opportunity for fraud investigation training, and to keep abreast of new and emerging fraud techniques. The courses have been rolled out to over 7,000 police officers, helping develop their skills, and enabling them to better detect and respond to fraud.
The rise of social media use means that fraud prevention education has never been more important, particularly for primary school aged pupils who are exploring the online world at an early age. Leveraging our expertise, we jointly developed the ‘Cyber Detectives’ education programme which now forms part of the PSHE (Personal Social Health and Economics) element of the national curriculum in England.
The courses have been rolled out to over
Sessions have been taught to over 350 primary school age children across three counties, following online trials with Lloyds Banking Group colleagues and their children during the national lockdown. More than 3,000 schools in England are now using the learning programme and work is underway to extend it into Wales and Scotland later this year, helping these children to develop the skills needed to stay safe online and protect their personal information.
Bringing public and private organisations together
We’ve also been able to help CoLP build new relationships with other private sectors to widen their collaborative work on fraud. We’ve introduced them to Cifas, a non-profit fraud prevention association and they are now jointly training Fraud Protect Officers across policing.
We’ve also jointly launched the industry’s first innovative pilot scheme using £7 million captured from fraudsters to fund a series of fraud fighting and victim support programmes across the country. The ‘frozen’ cash has been invested in several projects to tackle fraud. This includes an initiative in partnership with Age UK to help older people increase their knowledge and confidence in recognising and dealing with attempted scams.
Age UK's Scams Prevention and Support Programme
In order to help older people become more aware of potential scams Age UK launched their Scams Prevention and Support Programme, which is one of the initiatives funded with this 'frozen' cash. The programme provides one-to-one and group advice sessions to older people who might be at risk of scams, or who have been victims of scams, so they feel safer and less likely to become repeat victims. Sessions are delivered in a wide range of settings where attendees might be vulnerable to scams, including care homes, religious groups and community centres, health groups, charities, and bereavement groups.
The sessions provide in-depth information and advice for the individual, and may lead to referrals to other services. The programme also delivers awareness-raising talks to provide general information on how to spot and avoid different types of scams, and how to take action against suspected scams.
Sessions are tailored to alert older people about any scams that might be going on in their particular region, as well as the different approaches scammers might be using. These range from doorstep and romance scams to more current methods like Energy Support Scheme text message scams.
Knowledge is power - It takes a network to fight a criminal network
We’ve enjoyed some great success from our City of London Police partnership but equally recognise there is still much more we can do to protect our communities.
There is a need to share more intelligence and data across public/ private organisations and the term ‘knowledge is power’ has never been so true for fraud prevention.
There’s real appetite from our industry partners for this and trials have already shown the benefit of data sharing across different sectors in preventing fraud. Our aim is to demonstrate the value in sharing more information across the whole customer payment journey, so each sector and organisation know their vulnerabilities and can be involved in the fraud prevention process.
"There is a need to share more intelligence and data across public and private organisations."
More diverse partnerships and the combination of intelligence and data analytics is necessary to catch the criminals, and we’re already making significant improvements in identifying more crime through shared intelligence, although there is plenty of opportunity to do more with telecoms, social media platforms and big tech companies to tackle this growing problem.
2022 is set to be a significant year for fraud prevention. We are now working closely with Government Ministers to shape a Fraud Action Plan that will form part of the Economic Crime Reform Plan, to help ensure a public/private partnership approach to countering fraud.
In recent years, fraud prevention discussions and activity have greatly increased across government, law enforcement and other sectors. There is growing consensus that collaborative public/private relationships are key to making a step change in tackling this national security threat.
Group Director of Economic Crime Prevention
Brian is responsible for fraud prevention, anti-money laundering, sanctions compliance, anti-bribery and countering terrorist financing across all of Lloyds Banking Group's brands. He holds the Senior Manager Regime position of Money Laundering Reporting Officer for Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland.
Brian holds a number of external positions within the industry, among them Chair of the Board of the North East Business Resilience Centre (a collaboration with the police to protect North East businesses from cybercrime), Board member of Stop Scams UK (a collaboration with telecoms to stop scams at source) and is a member and former Chair of the Economic Crime Product & Service Board at UK Finance. He also represented the banking industry on the Steering Committee that created the Authorised Push Payment Scam Code in early 2019.
He has over 20 years of experience of Fraud & Financial Crime, the vast majority of which has been in financial services. Prior to joining Lloyds Banking Group Brian served as the Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering Services and led the UK Financial Services Forensic team in the consultancy practice at KPMG.
Brian spent more than four years at the Financial Services Authority where he was Head of Department in the Enforcement Division during the implementation of the Financial Services & Markets Act and the development of the FSA's Financial Crime strategy. Whilst at the FSA, Brian conducted the FATF mutual evaluation of Latvia and was part of the team that responded to the mutual evaluation of the UK.
He then spent over three years at UBS Investment Bank where he became a Managing Director and Global Head of AML Compliance.
Brian began his career as an Auditor at KPMG before becoming a fraud investigator in the Forensic Department.
Brian enjoys participating in endurance sports, is a keen football fan, a drummer in a band and is an advocate for senior part-time working and mental health awareness.
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