New Zealand banks to introduce new measures to prevent scams

By Lucy Craymer

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand banks on Friday said they would introduce new steps to counter scams targeted at its customers including establishing a national Anti-Scam centre, combining resources to combat money laundering and increasing public awareness.

Roger Beaumont, chief executive of the New Zealand Banking Association, which represents all large banks based in New Zealand, said in a statement that the joint commitment by retail banks is expected to have a positive impact in tackling fraud and scams.

In the second quarter of 2023 1,950 scams were reported with people losing NZ$4.2 million ($2.48 million), according to data from the New Zealand government’s Computer Emergency Response Team.

Beaumont said the banking industry would support the establishment of a centralised, co-ordinated national Anti-Scam Centre, instigate an account name checking service, commit to remove all web links from texts to customers and investigate sharing real time information between organisations impacted by scams.

The timing of each of these initiatives will vary depending on their complexity and feasibility, he said.

Australia, where four of New Zealand’s largest retail banks are headquartered, is also introducing similar new measures. It has introduced a specialist unit of government, law enforcement and private sector people to try and disrupt scams and reduce losses.

($1 = 1.6915 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)