PIMFA backs calls for 'financial harm' to be included in UK Government's Online Safety Bill

PIMFA, the trade association for wealth management, investment services and the investment and financial advice industry, consumer rights group Which?, UK Finance, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, alongside Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis and the Money and Mental Health Institute, have all called for online scams to be included in the Government’s forthcoming Online Safety Bill.

Reacting to the new research released by the Money and Mental Health Institute Liz Field, Chief Executive of PIMFA, says: “It is vital that people are protected from all forms of online exploitation and that the most vulnerable in our society are especially protected.

"That six in 10 people want to see online protection from financial harm enhanced comes as little surprise.

"Fraudsters deliberately target the vulnerable as the Money and Mental Health Institute's research shows. And there is evidence too from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) from Which? and from our own members that shows the sophistication of online scams is such that everyone is, to some degree, now vulnerable to online scams. 

"Online fraudsters scam people out of their life savings. The impact of such scams is devastating on the mental health of victims.

"The Online Safety Bill is a clear opportunity to put in place a legal framework that would help improve consumer protections against what are increasingly convincing online scams.

"Such a framework has significant support from across the financial services industry, consumer rights groups like Which? mental health charities like the Money and Mental Health Institute and the FSCS.

“The internet has inadvertently facilitated fraudsters for many years but a large number of them could be prevented from making victims of consumers with greater cooperation from Domain Name Registration Services, Internet Service Providers and online platforms such as social media and search engines. I hope the government listens to our collective concerns and acts upon them”.