Leading Spanish Banks Launch Fraud Prevention Platform

Published: 03 August 2023

Financial Fraud CardsLeading Spanish banks joined forces to fight financial fraud. (Photo: Wallpaper Flare, License)

By Zdravko Ljubas

Three of Spain's top banks have joined forces to develop a platform for exchanging information and data to assist in the fight against and prevention of financial crime.

BBVA, Banco Santander, and CaixaBank have launched FrauDfense, a joint business that will unify the three banks' anti-fraud operations to address "one of the biggest challenges facing the banking sector: financial fraud." They have presented the project to various Spanish supervisors and regulators.

"The project covers the fight against a variety of fraudulent practices, which can be very diverse and sophisticated, such as admission fraud, where customer information is compromised by impersonating customers to purchase products, and digital or card payment fraud," BBVA said in a statement on Monday.

Santander bank described FrauDfense as an ambitious link-up that started in Spain, emphasizing that the project "is far from a closed book." Following the initial phase, "the alliance will consider adding other banks and companies to increase its scope," the bank added.

"The banks and companies from other industries interested in exchanging information on fraud to protect customers, entities, and broader society will also be able to join," the bank said.

In the first phase, the alliance will address the development of an information-sharing tool to discuss fraudulent 'modus operandi' and effective countermeasures while rigorously maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the shared information.

Two representatives from each bank will form FrauDfense's board of directors, with Carlos Requena as the alliance's CEO, and BBVA's Natalia Ortega as the first president of FrauDfense—a role that will rotate every two years among the project's three members.

Spain-headquartered Banco Santander is a leading commercial bank with a significant presence in ten key countries across Europe, North America, and South America, according to its FrauDfense partner CaixaBank. It is one of the world's largest banks by market value, with 1.2 trillion euros (US$1.31 trillion) in total funds, 161 million clients, 9,000 branches, and 210,000 staff recorded in the first quarter of this year.

BBVA is a worldwide financial services group with over 68 million active clients and about 117,000 employees, operating in more than 25 countries, and holding a strong leadership position in the Spanish market. The bank, according to the statement, is also known as the largest financial institution in Mexico, with prominent franchises throughout South America and Turkey.

CaixaBank is the leading banking firm in Spain, with assets in excess of 618 billion euros ($675.91 billion) and a significant European presence. It said it has over 20 million users, the biggest branch and ATM network in Spain and Portugal, and dominates internet banking with over 11 million digital customers.