November 07, 2007

Bank of America ranked the highest in identity fraud protection, detection and resolution, according to a Javelin Strategy & Research report released today. The study of the top 25 U.S. banks found that this year financial institutions showed strength in resolution practices, but vulnerability in prevention and detection. Javelin analysts recommend that banks provide more account monitoring tools to its customers and empower them to "watch and catch" identity fraud earlier.

Bank of America earned 78 points out of a total possible score of 100. Tied in second place are JP Morgan Chase, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo, each earning 70 points. Citibank ranked third with 69 points; BB&T and Wachovia earned the fourth and fifth highest scores.

On the whole, 77 percent of the financial institutions met Javelin's recommended resolution criteria, but showed slower progress in detection and prevention measures. In the 2007 Scorecard, only 45 percent of banks achieved the recommended prevention standards and 51 percent met Javelin's detection criteria.

The 2007 Scorecard reveals a growing trend in identity theft prevention and detection: Empower the customer. As the everyday consumer plays a more critical role in monitoring their accounts, financial institutions must embrace new technologies and provide its customers with the right tools to fight identity theft.

Key Findings of the Javelin Strategy & Research Study:

-- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) systems in online channels are active in 88 percent of banks; MFA are active in 48 percent of phone channels and 12 percent in mobile channels

-- User-Defined Limits and Prohibitions (UDLAP) are available in 36 percent of surveyed financial institutions

-- 76 percent of banks and credit unions require the use of full social security numbers

-- 80 percent of surveyed banks offer account-related alerts, 49 percent offer personal information change email alerts

-- 28 percent of financial institutions offer text message alert capabilities, none offer two-way messaging

--94 percent of banks maintain a zero liability identity fraud policy

--24/7 account suspension is available in 60 percent of surveyed banks, 40 percent offer next-day availability of stolen or compromised funds

Banks analyzed in the 2007 Banking Identity Safety Scorecard include: Banco Popular, Bank of America, Bank of the West, BB&T, Citibank, City National, Comerica, Fifth Third, Golden 1, HSBC, Huntington, JP Morgan Chase, KeyBank, M&T, National City, Navy FCU, PNC, Regions, Sovereign, SunTrust, Union Bank of California, US Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo & Company

ABOUT THE AUTHOR