Tuesday 8 November 2016 12:40 pm

Tesco Bank fraud attack "unprecedented", says City watchdog chief

The head of the City watchdog has today called the attack which has hit thousands of Tesco Bank customers over the weekend "unprecedented and serious".

Andrew Bailey was speaking in front of the influential Treasury Select Committee, where he acknowledged there was a shortage of talented tech staff within the banking sector and that the complexity of lenders' IT setups could make them vulnerable to such threats. 

Since the weekend's attacks on the challenger bank, it has been revealed that money was taken from around 20,000 current accounts, while some sort of suspicious activity was noted on 40,000 accounts

The bank has already vowed to make sure affected customers are compensated, and online payments using Tesco current account cards have been blocked for the time being. 

Read more: Tesco Bank alerts thousands of customers to potential fraud

It was unsurprising that Bailey was asked to field questions on the incident, given that chair of the Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie had already issued a statement on Tesco Bank earlier on in the week.

In his statement, Tyrie lamented the state cyber security in banking. "Millions of customers remain unnecessarily exposed to the risks of IT failures, including delays in paying bills and an inability to access their own money…We can't carry on like this," he said.