Total Threat Levels

Data provided by Euromonitor International

The Story in Basis Points

The COVID-19 pandemic has put us all under significant pressure. The delicate balancing act in fraud prevention has been more important than ever, with enabling customers and protecting them in the most troubling times at the forefront of all that we do. Protecting new channels, enabling new services, and maintaining the highest levels of service and support have been the key focus areas, without increasing risk or exposure to fraud and financial crime. 

This has been an equally challenging time for the fraudsters, who sought new ways to enact their crimes and adapt to the ever-changing remote working and transacting environment. Without the typical volume and transaction mix to hide behind, they had to be inventive and look to spread their attacks to ensure that their criminal enterprise remains profitable. 

Despite some of the most significant challenges of our times, the United Kingdom has led the 18 countries studied once more. Whilst the basis points has held steady, this can be a misleading statement as the UK banks achieved a reduction of 7% value lost to fraud in 2020 (£46M or ~€69M more equivalent value prevented). This is particularly impressive when you review the combined European total which stands at only an additional ~€62M prevented. Without the performance of the UK, Europe would actually have increased the amount lost to fraud by an additional ~€10M. This is testament to the focus, robustness, resilience and adaptability of the plastics fraud prevention frameworks which have been commonplace for many years. 

The UK is not alone in reporting strong reductions in fraud, with Denmark also achieving a €21M relative reduction (21%). However, of the 18 countries contained within the study, 12 have posted an increase in value lost to fraud in the past year, which adds up to an additional €32M of value lost. The fraudsters continued to enjoy a steady increase in success in both France and Germany, but Norway lead the increases for this year, seeing a return to its highest loss levels since 2016. 

Fraud basis points is a standard measure of card fraud severity, and can show how a bank or a country compares to others. 1 basis point is equivalent to 1 cent per €100. It works the same in any currency and provides an indicator of the fraud-to-sales ratio.