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December 13, 2017

Banks to reveal security breach data under FCA rules

The FCA will enforce its voluntary agreement from August 2018.

By CBR Staff Writer

New standards from the finance watchdog mean banks will need to come clean over the number of major security and operational incidents suffered each year. Banks will also be asked to reveal their service availability and volume of complaints as part of the probe into financial services vulnerability.

The IT transparency measures are poised to help customers and businesses “make meaningful comparisons” of current account providers, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Cyberattacks are among the highest concerns of CIOs, as a service outage can result in major reputational damage and downtime. Not to mention the impact IT faults can have on finances; the average UK business cost of a critical IT incident totals almost £60,000 according to research by Quocirca and Splunk.

Under the FCA’s new rules, eligible financial bodies will have to disclose how often the firm has had to report major operational and security incidents to the regulator.

Firms which hold business current accounts will be able to find out how many security failings its provider has endured and compare the figures with their bank’s competitors. The vulnerability openness standards follow market investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The initiative is just one of a spread of reforms coming into force in summer, including how and when services and helplines are available. Other data to be made available include how long it will take to open a current account and replace a debit card. Participants will also be expected to make plain their contact channels for assistance.

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Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, FCA said: “We want to see current account providers competing hard for their customers’ business by offering better service, alongside competition on interest and charges. These rules will help people see how their bank compares to others so they can choose an account that suits their needs.

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“We are pleased that the industry is seeking to develop information about their treatment of vulnerable customers. It is important that these customers are given help and support when making a decision about a bank account and this is an important step forward.”

Banks signed up to the voluntary industry agreement will have to publish the incident figures from 15 August 2018 and release remaining compliance data from February 2019.

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