The UK banking industry has re-affirmed a policy that makes online banking customers responsible for losses if they have out of date anti-virus or anti-phishing protection. New Banking Codes for consumers and businesses took effect on Monday.
The Banking Code produced by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), and followed by most banks, makes it clear that banks will not be responsible for losses on online bank accounts if consumers do not have up to date anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software installed on their machines.
“If you act without reasonable care, and this causes losses, you may be responsible for them,” says the code. “This may apply, for example, if you do not follow section 12.5 or 12.9.”
Section 12.9 says: “Keep your PC secure. Use up-to-date anti-virus and spyware software and a personal firewall.”
The BBA said it was not aware that any bank had ever invoked that clause of the code to avoid covering a consumer’s online banking losses. The new code came into effect at the beginning of this week. The latest edition of the Business Banking Code took effect the same day.
Subscribers to the Banking Code must comply with it and are given until 1st July to ensure that their practices are in line with the code.