The State Duma adopted a law on the return to citizens of bank funds stolen by fraudsters: details of the innovation


Galina D., a 32-year-old seamstress in a tailor shop in Chelyabinsk, discovered that her salary card information fell into the hands of scammers when she received SMS messages about paying for purchases at various online food deliveries and online stores. The plastic card itself was in her wallet, so it was about the theft of personal data.

She immediately called the bank, where a year and a half ago she opened a card at the request of the employer, explained the situation and asked her to return the already transferred money for all paid purchases, because they were made by scammers. What was the surprise of the woman when she was refused to stop the transfer of funds and was asked to resolve the issue by contacting delivery services and online stores.

There, the operators were more responsive and helped a resident of Chelyabinsk to return illegally spent funds back to her account. She blocked the bank card itself and then re-issued a new one, but the indifferent attitude towards her request from the bank, to which she entrusted her funds, made a strong and extremely negative impression on the woman.

The law adopted by the State Duma, as conceived by its authors, should prevent such situations. Now banks, payment systems – all money transfer operators – must realize that in the event of fraudulent transactions on their customers’ accounts, they risk their funds. The financial institution will have to reimburse the victim in full the amount of the operation that was performed without his consent, within 30 days after receiving the application, and in the case of a cross-border transfer of funds – within 60 days. The bank will be able to avoid a refund only if it proves that the client has violated the procedure for using an electronic means of payment.

All transactions will have to be treated more carefully, because if the transfer was made to a suspicious account specified in the special register of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, then the stolen goods will have to be reimbursed. Not only that: now banks have the right to suspend operations for two days that have signs of fraud, even despite the consent of the client. According to the authors, this should help in the fight against social engineering – a method of fraud, when the victim is deliberately misled and she herself agrees to transfer her money to a “safe account”.

However, experts note that in reality, the implementation of the law can complicate the life of bank customers, rather than make it easier. As the head of the analytical department of the BKF bank Maxim Osadchy pointed out, now the financial organization is obliged to check for signs of a transfer of funds without the voluntary consent of the client. These signs posted on the website of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation are rather vague, so banks are likely to play it safe and often just in case postpone transfers for two days, which will drastically slow down the operation of the fast payment system (FPS).

“Banks will protect themselves as much as possible from any liability so as not to show any losses on their balance sheets,” Sergey Mendeleev, head of InDeFi Smart Bank, continues the topic. “Most likely, everything will end with the imposition of special insurances on customers, without which the transfer rates will become prohibitive.”

The introduction of such measures may require additional costs from financial institutions, which they are likely to pass on to customers’ wallets in the form of an increase in commissions or the cost of banking services.

Andrey Tugarin, Managing Partner of GMT Legal, noted that the text of the law contains more provisions on the preliminary work of the bank with suspicious transactions than on the return mechanism. In other words, the main idea of ​​the law is to prevent fraud, not to compensate for losses.

“In 99% of cases, transfers to fraudsters were made by the citizens themselves voluntarily,” says Polina Gusyatnikova, senior managing partner at the law firm PG Partners. – That is, for the bank, such an operation did not fall into the category of fraudulent ones.

The law implies the same thing: if the client has agreed to the operation, it is performed by him personally, then it will not be subject to reimbursement.” So, although the initiative is absolutely correct, one should not think that now citizens are completely protected from theft of funds by fraudsters from their accounts, the expert emphasized.

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