U.K. Bank Freezes Online Transactions After Fraudulent Withdrawals

Tesco Bank, a British bank owned by retail giant Tesco Plc, today suspended online checking account transactions after a wave of fraudulent transactions over the weekend that reportedly affected around 40,000 accounts and saw money taken from around 20,000 accounts. The total affected accounts represent about 30 percent of Tesco Bank’s checking accounts.

According to widespread British news coverage, many customers have reported that anywhere between £20 and £600 had disappeared from their accounts, with at least one reporting a loss of £2,400. Some customers reported that accounts were nearly drained. The bank said it was “subject to online criminal activity” over the weekend.

With £9.2 billion in assets and £8.1 billion in deposits, Tesco Bank has not disclosed further details about how criminals gained access to the accounts. The American Bankers Association and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center will continue to monitor the news for insights relevant to U.S. bank risk management professionals.