Belfast Telegraph

Ride out of high street to avoid banking fraud, jockeys told

Jockeys have been urged to move their money out of high street banks after a string of frauds.

The Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) issued the warning in its October newsletter and said that around 30 jockeys and trainers had been targeted by the "fairly rudimentary scam".

The body said that due to the losses - thought to be a six-figure sum - and "given the ineptitude of the major high street banks in preventing the fraud and their lack of interest in prosecuting it", the only way to prevent more was to bank away from the high street.

The PJA said the frauds were first reported in early 2014 and were continuing, " with the banks seemingly both unwilling and incapable of preventing or investigating them, and the police and Action Fraud of no use whatsoever".

The body said money had been withdrawn over the counter, possibly using fraudulent documents.

The newsletter, on the body's website, says: "What is most scandalous is that on almost every occasion the banks admit to not following their own procedures, handing significant sums of cash over - in some cases several thousands of pounds - despite signatures that don't match those held by the bank and/or warning flags on the account not to issue cash withdrawals following previous frauds."

It adds: "In the light of the significant and ongoing losses, which must now amount to a significant six-figure sum, the PJA and BHA have come to the conclusion that, given the ineptitude of the major high street banks in preventing the fraud and their lack of interest in prosecuting it, the only way to prevent the frauds from continuing is to move their current account banking off the high street.

"We cannot recommend a particular bank but there are numerous options (eg Weatherbys, Marks and Spencers, First Direct, Tesco, Sainsburys, etc) we strongly urge our members to consider that option.

"Those that are and chose to remain on the high street, please continue to keep a very close and regular eye on your transactions and report any suspicious activity immediately to your bank."

PJA chief executive Paul Struthers told the BBC: "The question we are struggling to understand is how they know where each of the jockeys bank and how they are getting access to the account.

"That is what is perplexing us."

He added: "It has just got to the stage now where between us and the BHA we have realised that a combination of the incompetence or the unwillingness of the banks to deal with it means the only advice we can give jockeys is to get off the high street."