Stories by Rob O'Neill and Carrie-Ann Skinner

UK online banking rules similar to ill-fated NZ code

The British Bankers' Association has developed a new banking code requiring online banking customers to to prove they are not "acting without reasonable care".
The new UK voluntary Banking Code appears similar to one released in New Zealand last year, which later had to be withdrawn and reconsidered after Computerworld reported it allowed banks to inspect users' computers before accepting liability for online banking fraud. As such, the code effectively shifted the goalposts for liability in cases of loss.
Alan Yates, the CEO of the New Zealand Bankers' Association, says work on revising the local code is "progressing".
"We haven't got sign-off for the latests changes," he says.
He says the Bankers' Association has been consulting on the changes and is awaiting sign-off from its council before releasing the latest version of the code.
Now UK web users who fail to keep their antivirus and anti-spyware software up to date may find themselves unable to recoup losses which occur via their online banking accounts, Computerworld UK reports.
"The new code, specifically sections 12.9 and 12.11, places the onus on customers to take reasonable care and make sure that their antivirus and anti-spyware software are up to date," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at security firm Finjan.
"If not, customers might be held responsible for losses on their online banking account," he adds. According to Ben-Itzhak this could potentially include banks rejecting online fraud claims upfront.
Last year the New Zealand Bankers' Association released its ill-fated Code of Practice which said liability for any loss resulting from unauthorised internet banking transactions rests with the customer if they have “used a computer or device that does not have appropriate protective software and operating system installed and up-to-date, [or] failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the protective systems, such as virus scanning, firewall, antispyware, operating system and anti-spam software on [the] computer, are up-to-date.”

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