Bank of Ireland to invest €50m in fraud prevention

Lender says 225 staff now working on fraud issues

Bank of Ireland is to invest €50 million in fraud prevention, spending €15 million on technology to fight scammers.

The company will also carry out a number of consumer awareness campaigns and add new supports for customers affected by fraud.

The bank said the measures would enable customers who suspected they had been victims of fraud to deal with a person rather than a bot. Some 225 staff are now engaged in fraud prevention and protection, the provision of phone support to customers, and the detection of financial crime.

Irish consumers have been hit with an increasing number of scams in recent months, with the messages claiming to be from banks, government departments, delivery companies or even family members. The fraudulent messages are becoming increasingly sophisticated too, posing a concern for consumers who are relying more on digital technologies in their daily lives. Garda figures show reports from victims of fraudulent texts increased by more than 30 per cent in 2023.


“Banks are on the front line in defending our customers, and wider society, from this threat. However more action is needed from all of us including telecoms companies, social media and tech firms, banks and fintechs, and State agencies,” said Myles O’Grady, group chief executive of Bank of Ireland.

“The investment we are announcing today helps equip our people with the latest resources to support and protect customers. It also ensures that if our customers are targeted by a fraudster they can talk to a real human – not a bot – 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.”

The bank will be holding a number of awareness events in the coming six weeks.

“Our teams are constantly monitoring for emerging threats. We see more and more fraud attacks starting from social media and tech platforms,” said Nicola Sadlier, head of fraud with Bank of Ireland. “Fake ads should be caught before they are published online, but many are not. If we see a fake ad, we report it to the channel operator, but even then some ads are removed very slowly and sometimes not at all.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist