Magazine article American Banker

Regions Exec: Be Frank about Fraud

Magazine article American Banker

Regions Exec: Be Frank about Fraud

Article excerpt

An executive of Regions Financial Corp., which just kicked off a financial fraud awareness campaign, says other bankers are not doing enough awareness-raising.

William E. Askew, Regions' executive vice president of consumer and business banking, said banks have been reluctant to publicize the prevalence of phishing and other scams for fear of weakening public trust.

But their silence could have a similar effect, he said. "If we don't do something about this as an industry, the consumer is going to lose, and they're going to lose their faith in the online banking system."

Regions, of Birmingham, Ala., is collaborating with First Data Corp. and the processor's Star debit network to issue a series of announcements, Mr. Askew said.

First Data, the nation's largest payment processor, will work at a national level and Regions will focus on its own service area. Barbara Span, a vice president of corporate relations at First Data, said the Denver company has not been able to sign up any other bank partners for the program that could work locally in other parts of the country.

Regions is "going out to consumers in their marketplace," Ms. Span said. "We need other financial institutions to do that as well."

Regions got started Tuesday with radio, television, and newspaper placements in the 15 states in the South and Midwest where it has branches under the Regions Bank and Union Planters names. It will help develop scripts and provide video clips that can be used to produce public service announcements. …

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