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Campaign calls for better security for banks

02/10/13

Bank robbery has got a lot duller since the days of Pretty Boy Floyd and John Dillinger - the reality nowadays is that financial services firms with bad IT security are at the biggest risk of losing their customers' cash.

This has been highlighted by a new campaign from consumer rights organisation Which? criticising the companies with the worst systems for keeping their online banking portals safe for users.

In an investigation conducted with the help of security firm Pen Test Partners, Santander was pinpointed as the bank with the most problems, reports the Telegraph.

The organisation scored 47 per cent overall, particularly suffering because of how it dealt with keeping consumers' information safe during the login process.

Banks were scored on login security and logout security, transferring money, changing account details, navigation and the encryption used to protect information as it's transmitted across the internet.

NatWest/RBS was the best performer with an overall score of 76 per cent, followed by the Co-operative Bank and HSBC in joint second, both scoring 72 per cent.

"Along with HSBC, [Natwest/RBS] was one of only two banks that logged us out when we tried to log on from two different IP addresses at the same time," the consumer group explained.

First Direct achieved a disappointing score of 46 per cent, but was not included in the study because it has made major changes to its online security system since the research was carried out.

However, the other banks involved claimed that they have also implemented a number of measures aimed at keeping consumers safe when using their online platforms.

A Santander spokesperson told the Telegraph: "In addition to the publicly visible security which the investigation from Which? tested, Santander has additional 'non-visible' layers of security which it utilises to ensure customers get a better, safer and more usable experience. Santander reviews and enhances its online security on a regular basis."

Some six in ten consumers believe online banking is insufficiently secure, according to the consumer rights watchdog.

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