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Victims of bank fraud to be more easily reimbursed in France

The Banque de France said ‘we no longer want to hear from banks that they are not reimbursing disputed transactions’, as it announced a series of new measures

A woman holding a bank card, looking at her laptop with a shocked face

Banking fraud has become more sophisticated in recent years, prompting the Banque de France to issue new recommendations to fight it Pic: EugeneEdge / Shutterstock

Victims of fraud in France are set to be reimbursed more easily in France after new recommendations from the Banque de France (BdF) this week.

The recommendations are designed to fight banking card fraud, and stop banks from refusing reimbursements in the event of fraud.

Since 2019, any banking transaction or smartphone payment has required a ‘strong’ identity authentication using some form of ID, such as facial recognition, a fingerprint, or an SMS code.

But in a statement, BdF said that although this had “allowed us to significantly reduce fraud for internet payments by 30% between 2019 and 2022”, the system is not infallible, hence these new recommendations.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said: “We are strengthening the fight against fraud and we are making the reimbursement processes easier, even when ID has been checked.”

Julien Lassale, head of surveillance of payment methods at BdF, said: “We no longer want to hear from banks that disputed transactions that were made with ID will not be reimbursed.”

It comes after the Court of Appeal in Versailles ordered BNP Paribas to reimburse a client who had €54,000 stolen through fraud.

New reimbursement recommendations

To be eligible for reimbursement, the victim must prove that they were not negligent. Yet, many banks use this condition to avoid paying people back, the BdF said. This is particularly so in cases where victims are ‘tricked’ by fraudsters.

It has now said that if there is even the smallest doubt, banks must reimburse. It said that banks should reimburse first, and then investigate the case within 29 days. If they then find evidence that the customer was negligent, they can take the money back.

If the bank refuses reimbursement, it must:

  • Tell the customer why

  • Give detailed arguments as to why they have made that decision

  • Tell the customer how they can appeal the decision (such as via a complaints service, using a mediator, or going to court)

A bank must instruct an investigation into a fraud case within 24 hours, the new rules state. If, after 24 hours, they cannot conclude that the fraud is due to the client themselves or due to serious negligence, the bank must reimburse immediately.

If the transaction was not subject to an ID check, for example if it was for a small amount of money or it took place outside Europe, then the bank must also reimburse.

Banking watchdog l’Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) has approved the new measures.

More sophisticated scams

The new recommendations come as methods have increased and become more sophisticated, BdF said. These include:

  • Fake bank workers (‘spoofing’, where fraudsters call the victim pretending to be from their bank)

  • Phishing (technique in which fraudsters pretend to be genuine, sometimes via a website, to lure victims into handing over their details)

Jean-Philippe Latour, head of cybersecurity at, told Le Figaro: “Fraud from fake banking staff is in the top 10 most frequent frauds. Sometimes the fraud is up to five figures, going up to €30,000 or €40,000.”

Read more: Bank fraud and other scams on rise in France: What to watch out for

In response to the new recommendations, Alain Bazot, president of consumer association UFC-Que Choisir, said: “In the face of increasingly sophisticated fraud, it is unacceptable for banks to simply shirk their obligation to expressly demonstrate their customers' negligence in order to refuse to reimburse them.”

It comes after consumer group UFC-Que Choisir lodged complaints against 12 banks, who it said “systematically refused” to reimburse their clients when they said that they were victims of fraud.

Read more: 12 French banks taken to court for not reimbursing fraud victims 

What if I suspect fraud?

In April, the French banking federation launched a communication campaign to improve customer awareness of scams, reminding them: 

  • Never authenticate transactions that they did not initiate 

  • Never give out passwords or confidential codes

If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, you can contest the transaction. Contact your bank, and/or call the interbanking service on 0 892 705 705. It is open 24/7, and costs the price of one landline call, plus the cost of the service, from a mobile or landline.

You may also wish to declare the fraud to the police or gendarmerie, and report it online to the Perceval service or to

Read also 

Explainer: How to get reimbursed after a bank card fraud in France

‘Speedy’, ‘helpful’: Your feedback on French bank reactions to fraud 

French banks to pay fines for late repayment of clients’ fraud losses

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