SBC UK, First Direct and Metro Bank have become the latest firms to join an anti-scam service that allows people to quickly reach their bank when they receive a suspicious or fraudulent phone call.
Called 159, the scheme is backed by banking, tech and telecoms firms and enables users to quickly and securely connect with their bank if they believe they have received an unexpected, suspicious, or fraudulent phone call about a financial matter.
It is operated by Stop Scams UK, which says it aims to stop scams at the source.
The rapidly growing use of 159 since its launch clearly demonstrates both its value and need. It is good to see the message getting through, that if you receive an unexpected or suspicious call on a financial matter: stop, hang up and call 159
The group said the three new banks joining 159 serve around 18.5 million UK customers.
A number of other UK banks, including Barclays, the Co-operative Bank, Lloyds, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Santander, Starling, and TSB, are already part of the 159 service.
Since it launched in September 2021, the group says more than 160,000 calls have been made to 159.
Ruth Evans, chair of Stop Scams UK, said: “I am delighted to see the rapid expansion in the reach and capacity of 159 this year. Not only is 159 being used by growing numbers of people but it now serves an even larger number of banks.
“It is fantastic that HSBC UK, First Direct and Metro Bank have joined 159. Together they represent an important part of the UK market, allowing 159 to help protect more people from harm.
“The rapidly growing use of 159 since its launch clearly demonstrates both its value and need. It is good to see the message getting through, that if you receive an unexpected or suspicious call on a financial matter: stop, hang up and call 159.
“I am looking forward to the continued development of 159, which will undoubtedly allow it to better serve an even greater number of UK consumers, as well as continuing to welcome new members to Stop Scams UK.”