Thursday 10 November 2016

Tesco Bank cyber theft shakes confidence in finance

Tesco Bank

The theft of money from accounts at Tesco Bank is a threat to national security and undermines public trust in financial firms, Britain's interior minister Amber Rudd said on Thursday.

Retailer Tesco's banking arm said this week that 2.5 million pounds ($3.1 million) was stolen from a total of 9,000 customers last weekend in what cyber experts say is the first mass hacking of accounts at a western bank.

Rudd said the government recognized financial crime such as cyber crime and money-laundering as a national security threat, which costs 24 billion pounds a year.

Britain cannot afford to be seen as a haven for dirty money, she added.

"The recent example of Tesco Bank is a stark example of what we face," Rudd told a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) conference on financial crime.

The FCA watchdog has described the Tesco thefts as unprecedented.

"Public confidence in our institutions get shaken by these sort of events," Rudd said.

She was also "deeply concerned" by claims London is a major global money laundering center, she said.

"Money laundering still poses a real threat both to the UK's international reputation and integrity of our world leading financial center," Rudd said.

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, launched last month, is helping with the Tesco investigations, giving direct assistance to the bank, and identifying any wider lessons for industry, she said.

"The recent Tesco bank incident served to demonstrate that the private sector has a crucial role and a responsibility in countering cyber-enabled fraud," she added.



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