ATLANTA — LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today released its LexisNexis® Risk Solutions 2020 True Cost of Fraud™ Study: Financial Services & Lending for the United States and Canadian financial services and lending sectors. The research provides a snapshot of pre and post-COVID-19 lockdown fraud trends and spotlights key pain points for these industries. The study reveals that financial services and lending fraud continues to increase and impact firms, particularly those earning more than $10 million in annual revenues.
The cost of fraud pre-COVID-19 among U.S. financial services and lending firms rose 12.8% over the previous reporting period, which covered the first halves of 2018 and 2019 respectively. For every dollar of fraud lost in the pre-COVID period, U.S. financial services and lending companies incurred an average of $3.78 in costs, up from $3.35 since the last edition of the survey. These losses include the transaction face value for which firms are held liable, plus fees and interest incurred, fines and legal fees, labor and investigation costs and external recovery expenses.
Lenders continue to have somewhat higher costs than financial services firms. Lenders alone see an average of $3.90 in costs for every dollar lost to fraud, up from $3.44, a 13.4% increase. Financial services firms incur an average of $3.64 cost per dollar of fraud loss, up from $3.25. This is the first year that Canadian firms participated in the survey: Canadian financial services and lending companies realize an average of $3.46 in costs for every dollar lost to fraud.
Fraud Trends in Financial Services and Lending
Both digital and non-digital firms have felt the negative impact of the pandemic, particularly banks and credit lenders that processed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications. The rise in costs largely results from an increase in internal labor and/or external support to detect, investigate and recover losses, particularly for those handling PPP requests.
“It’s troubling to see the cost of fraud for financial services firms increase year over year, even without COVID-19’s influence,” said Kimberly Sutherland, vice president, fraud and identity management strategy, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “Fraud is more complex than ever with various risks occurring simultaneously. If financial services and lending firms want to remain proactive in protecting their environment against fraudulent activity, they should constantly evaluate their defensive posture then adjust accordingly.
“The tools to combat fraud need to access multiple aspects of risk associated with consumer account activity and transactions,” Sutherland continued. “The combination of physical and digital identity analysis is essential and a multi-layered solution approach has proven to be most effective for fighting fraud across various channels and transaction types. In the end this approach leads to appropriate levels of friction throughout the customer journey.”
The report’s findings stem from a comprehensive survey of 500 risk and fraud executives in financial services and lending companies, including retail and commercial banks, credit unions, investments, trusts and wealth management, as well as auto lenders, mortgage companies, finance companies, and non-bank credit card and personal loan issuers.
About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data, sophisticated analytics platforms and technology solutions to provide insights that help businesses across multiple industries and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions and RELX.