UK’s Metro Bank Introduces Vulnerable Customer Online Hub

Metro Bank has created dedicated online hubs both to support brokers who may be “working with a vulnerable client, and customers going through a period of vulnerability themselves.”

The Bank has launched “a dedicated Vulnerable Customer page on its intermediary website to help brokers understand how to identify a vulnerable customer and a Mortgage Payment Support page for customers to visit if they are worried about their finances.”

Brokers can make Metro Bank aware of “a potentially vulnerable client by including this information within the application notes.” Metro Bank will then “call the customer directly to discuss ways they can support and manage any concerns.”

Charles Morley, Director of Mortgage Distribution at Metro Bank comments:

“No-one is exempt from feeling the pressures of the cost of living, and we want to do what we can to help our customers. Metro Bank prides itself on offering high-quality service and convenience and this extends to supporting customers through periods of financial vulnerability, or identifying when they may be at risk of becoming vulnerable.”

As covered recently, Metro Bank’s ‘Scam of the Month’ of August 2023 is a warning “about the rise in malware attacks against UK bank customers.”

Malware, or malicious software, is “designed by criminals to compromise devices including computers, laptops, and mobile phones.” Globally, 5.5 billion malware attacks “were reported last year.”

Malware comes in many forms and “include words like virus, worm, spyware and trojan.”

This includes “stealing personal data, intercepting SMS messages to steal one-time passcodes (OTPS) or gaining control of online banking applications to make payments.” Some devices are turned into ‘zombies’ and “used to spread malware further (often to the victims’ contact), or to mine cryptocurrency.”

Some forms of malware, “known as ‘ransomware’, encrypt all data on a victim’s device and threaten to destroy or sell it unless the victim pays a fee. Ransomware has been designated a Tier 1 national security threat by the UK government[2] owing to its prevalence and the high level of harm it causes to victims.”

Metro Bank’s Head of Fraud & Investigations, Baz Thompson said:

“UK banks have seen an upward trend in malware attacks, especially on mobile devices, so we want consumers to be aware. There are a number of warning signs we are advising our customers of to help identify a potentially infected device.”

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