‘Onus is on banks to prove unauthorised transactions’

THE burden to conduct a detailed probe to prove any unauthorised banking transaction lies with the banks and not victims of financial scams, says Lim Hui Ying.

“Scam victims do not need to prove that the transaction is real. That is for the bank to prove,” said the Deputy Finance Minister in response to a question from Chong Chieng Jen (PH-Stampin) during Question and Answer Time.Chong asked the Finance Ministry to state whether it had any intention to amend existing laws so that banks were held responsible for the full or partial losses suffered by victims of financial fraud or scams.

Lim said quantum of compensation by the banks would take into consideration the outcome of investigations of each case and the effectiveness of the security controls implemented by the banks to address financial fraud.

“If the financial loss is solely due to the negligence and weaknesses of the bank, then the bank must be fully responsible for the loss,” she added.

She said if the scam victim disagreed with the bank’s decision and compensation offer, the account holder had the right to take the matter up with the Ombudsman for Financial Services.Besides this, Lim said banks had implemented several measures since June 2023 to safeguard account holders, including ensuring that every banking transaction complies with security features such as confirmation of transactions with clients, providing transaction notifications to clients and strengthening fraud detection rules to identify suspicious transactions.

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