All posts by Mr ben rory

Contact Email. (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (mrbenrory@europe.com)

China closes its Everest base camp to tourists”:


More and more people want to see the world’s tallest peak

China has closed the base camp on its side of Mount Everest to visitors who don’t have climbing permits.

Authorities have resorted to the unusual move to deal with the mounting waste problem at the site.

The ban means tourists can only go as far as a monastery slightly below the 5,200m (17,060ft) base camp level.

More people visit the mountain from the southern side in Nepal, but over the past years numbers have been rising steadily on the Chinese side as well.

The Chinese base camp, located in Tibet, is popular as it is accessible by car – whereas the Nepalese camp can only be reached by a hike of almost two weeks.

The world’s highest peak has been struggling with escalating levels of rubbish for years, as the number of visitors rises.

The Chinese Mountaineering Association says 40,000 visited its base camp in 2015, the most recent year with figures. A record 45,000 visited Nepal’s base camp in 2016-7 according to Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.

Everest view from Tibetan side
GETTY IMAGES

Tourists are still allowed to go as far as the Rongbuk monastery

Ordinary tourists will only be banned from areas above Rongbuk monastery, which is around 5,000m above sea level, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.

Mountaineers who have a permit to climb the 8,848m peak will still be allowed to use the higher camp.

In January, authorities announced that they would limit the number of climbing permits each year to 300.

On Chinese social media, claims have spread in recent days that its base camp will be permanently closed to tourists – but Xinhua cited officials denying that.

Nepalese sherpa picking up trash on Everest
GETTY IMAGES

The temperature and high altitude make clean-up efforts on Everest a tough task

The official announcement about the closure was made in December, on the website of the Tibetan authorities.

It stated that three clean-up operations last spring had collected eight tonnes of waste, including human faeces and mountaineering equipment climbers had left behind.

This year’s clean-up efforts will also try to remove the bodies of mountaineers who have died in the so-called death zone above 8,000m, where the air is too thin to sustain life for long.

Due to the cold and high altitude, these bodies often remain on the mountain for years or even decades.

Spain PM Sánchez sets snap election for April”:


The PM has been governing in a very fragmented political landscape

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has called a snap general election for 28 April, after Catalan nationalist MPs withdrew support for the Socialist government’s budget.

It is just eight months since Mr Sánchez took office, heading a minority government reliant on Catalan support.

Opinion polls suggest that no single party would win a clear majority. But conservatives and the far-right Vox party are expected to do well.

The Catalan crisis is still simmering.

Catalan separatist MPs rejected Mr Sánchez’s budget bill after the government refused to discuss the region’s right to self-determination.

Divisions were highlighted on Tuesday, when 12 Catalan separatist leaders and activists went on trial accused of rebellion and sedition over their unrecognised independence referendum in 2017.

The Socialists (PSOE) have 84 seats in the 350-seat lower house (Congress of Deputies), and their main allies, anti-austerity Podemos, have 67. But the biggest party is the conservative opposition Popular Party (PP), with 134.

In his announcement, Mr Sánchez complained that the right-wing parties – the PP and Ciudadanos – had blocked numerous bills in parliament, including important measures to reduce inequality.

Is this snap election unusual for Spain?

Yes. Since the return of Spanish democracy, with the death of fascist dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, it is only the second time that a government’s budget bill has been defeated in parliament.

The previous occasion was in 1995, when the Socialists under Felipe González were forced to call an election.

Turbulence and shifting alliances

By the BBC’s Guy Hedgecoe in Madrid

While the end of Pedro Sánchez’s tenure looked inevitable, following his parliamentary budget defeat, this adds further uncertainty to a fragmented Spanish political landscape.

His PSOE is leading many polls and could win this election, but might find it hard to form a majority and govern.

The leftist Podemos, the PSOE’s natural ally, is riven by infighting and struggling in polls.

With the Catalonia issue likely to dominate the upcoming campaign, the hardline pro-unity stance of parties on the right – the PP and Ciudadanos – could see them benefit. If the numbers add up, they could try and form a majority, possibly with the support of far-right Vox, which has enjoyed a surge in polls, due mainly to its uncompromising policy on Catalan independence.

Cheryl Grimmer: Murder charge in toddler’s 1970 disappearance dropped”:


Cheryl disappeared shortly after her family migrated to Australia

Australian prosecutors have dropped their case against a man who had been accused of murdering a UK-born toddler almost 50 years ago.

The disappearance of three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer from a New South Wales beach in 1970 is one of Australia’s longest-running mysteries.

A man was arrested in 2017, and he later pleaded not guilty to murder.

On Friday, a judge ruled that a key part of the prosecution case could not be used as evidence in a trial.

It concerned statements made by the man during a police interview in 1971, when he was aged 17.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales found that the evidence could not be heard because the teenager had not had an adult representative present during the interview.

Justice Robert Allan Hulme said: “The Crown accepts that its case cannot succeed without it.”

Family devastated

Cheryl went missing from a shower block on 12 January, 1970, in Wollongong, a city 70km (44 miles) south of Sydney, shortly after her family moved to Australia from Bristol.

It sparked a massive search at the time, but no trace of the girl was ever found.

GETTY IMAGES

Police conduct a search days after Cheryl’s disappearance

On Friday Cheryl’s brother, Ricki Nash, said the family was devastated by the latest development and felt let down by police.

“We’re just a bit numb, a bit shocked… no words can describe how I feel at the moment,” he said outside the court.

Over the years, the family had expressed frustration at the lack of progress in the case.

Another of her brothers, Stephen Grimmer, said in 2016: “My mum and dad have passed on now not knowing, and we want to know too before we pass on.”

‘Unfair’ evidence

In explaining his decision, Justice Hulme acknowledged that the man had made a written statement and engaged in a “walk-through style interview” with police in 1971.

Unlike now, minors were not legally required to be accompanied by an adult when giving such statements.

NSW POLICE

Cheryl with her late father, Vince Grimmer

However, Justice Hulme ruled that the man’s police interview “should be excluded on the basis of unfairness”.

He also noted testimony from psychologists who had reviewed the case for the trial.

They found that the man had “low intellect” and would have been “more vulnerable to influence” at the time, the judge said.

The man’s trial had been due to begin in May.

A&E waits at worst level for 15 years.


A&E waits in England have reached their worst level since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.

The deterioration in performance came after hospitals appeared to be coping well in the early part of winter.

During January, just 84.4% of patients were treated or admitted in four hours – well below the 95% threshold.

It means nearly 330,000 patients waited longer than they should with hospitals reporting significant problems finding beds for those needing to be kept in.

More than 80,000 patients were kept waiting an extra four hours or more to be transferred to a ward after their wait in A&E.

These are known as trolley waits since patients are left in temporary waiting areas while a bed is found.

All this comes despite relatively low levels of flu.

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Dr Nick Scriven, of the Society for Acute Medicine, said it was clear the NHS was under “severe strain”.

He said hospitals had seen significant over-crowding with many intensive care units completely full.

He said this had had a knock-on effect on ambulances which were being delayed dropping off patients at A&E.

“Although there is less minor illness associated with flu this year, there are more severely ill people than last year which is putting an even bigger strain on the critical care facilities in our hospitals.

“Any NHS worker will tell you that the stresses and strains are very real and ongoing with no let up in sight.”

German economy narrowly avoids recession”:


Confusion over new emission standards has hit the country’s car industry

Germany’s economy just about avoided falling into recession during the final three months of last year.

Europe’s largest economy registered zero growth during the fourth quarter of 2018, the country’s Federal Statistics Office said.

That means it avoided two consecutive quarters of contraction, which is the usual definition of a recession.

A weak trade performance dragged on the economy, and consumer spending remained subdued.

The zero growth recorded in the October-to-December period followed a 0.2% contraction in the previous quarter.

Reasons for slower growth last year include a slowdown in the global economy and a weaker car sector, with German consumers less willing to buy new cars amid confusion over new emission standards.

In addition, low water levels, particularly in the Rhine, affected growth by holding back movement of some goods.

‘Worrying’ outlook

Jack Allen, senior Europe economist at Capital Economics, told the BBC: “If you look at Germany across 2018 we’ve seen a pretty broad-based slowdown in growth. We’ve seen household consumption slow, we’ve seen business investment slow and we’ve seen export growth slow.

He added: “What’s particularly worrying is that the early signs for 2019 suggest that a strong rebound is unlikely.”

GETTY IMAGES

The Rhine’s water level was hit by the hot summer

US tariffs on EU car exports, which US President Donald Trump has threatened, could have a major impact on Germany, Mr Allen said, but even if these are avoided the slowdown in the global economy means Germany is still only expected to grow by about 1% this year, compared with about 1.5% in 2018.

However, Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said he was “optimistic” that the first quarter of this year would be better.

“The January [economic] surveys were poor… but net exports won’t be in free fall forever, and consumers’ spending also ought to pick up.”

Presentational grey line

Analysis:

By Andrew Walker, BBC World Service economics correspondent

It couldn’t have been much closer. And it is certainly possible that subsequent revisions to these figures will take the fourth quarter figure below zero and Germany into recession as the term is often defined.

For now though it looks like a very soft patch that has affected much of Europe.

Italy had a recession at the end of last year. The eurozone as whole has managed to continue to grow in spite of the weakening performance of two its largest economies. But it has been markedly slower.

That said, the jobs situation specifically in Germany is pretty good. Unemployment is among the lowest in the world at just above 3%.

French cash delivery man arrested after a van with €3m vanishes”:


File photo: The Loomis security van driver vanished during a delivery, along with the cash

Two cash delivery workers in France got a shock when they found their money-filled van had vanished – along with the third member of their team.

The van was soon found nearby but there was no sign of the 28-year-old driver or €3.4m (£3m) in cash.

He was eventually tracked down to a flat in Amiens, along with some of the missing money.

The suspect, named as Adrien Derbez, was arrested in the city on Tuesday evening.

According to news agency AFP, an estimated €1.5m is still missing.

The sudden vanishing act happened early on Monday morning. At about 06:00 (05:00 GMT), the team of three were making a routine cash delivery in their security van to a Western Union branch in Aubervilliers, on the outskirts of Paris.

Two of them took the ordered amount of cash inside, leaving the third man to watch the vehicle.

“When they came back out, the van and the driver were gone,” a police source told AFP.

A few blocks away, the white van from the Loomis cash transit company was discovered with its doors open and contents emptied – and no sign of the driver.

On Tuesday, police appealed for witnesses and released a photograph and description of Mr Derbez.

A police handout photo of Adrien Derbez
AFP / POLICE

Mr Derbez had vanished, but was found in Amiens late the following day

Following a tip-off, police raided an apartment in Amiens that evening, French media report.

At around 17:00, officers allegedly found Mr Derbez trying to escape through a window carrying several bags filled with banknotes, French broadcaster BFMTV said.

Three other people have been arrested since as part of the investigation. A large sum of money was also recovered – and was being counted to see how much, if any, was missing, the local prosecutor said.

The theft has similarities to the famous case of Toni Musulin, a Frenchman who stole some €11.6m (£10.2m) from the security van he was driving in 2009.

He vanished, along with the cash, in November that year, briefly becoming an internet superstar in France for his meticulously planned and bloodless heist.

However, most of the cash was found in a garage, and Musulin handed himself in to police in Monaco days later.

He spent four years in prison.

Christophe Dettinger: French ‘yellow vest’ boxer convicted:


Dettinger, here portrayed in a mural alongside the word “freedom”, has become known throughout France

A former French boxing champion has been convicted for assaulting two police officers at an anti-government “yellow vest” protest in Paris.

Christophe Dettinger, 37, was filmed on 5 January throwing punches in footage that was widely shared on social media.

He was sentenced to 30 months in jail.

Eighteen months of the sentence are suspended, and he will be able to serve the 12 months in what is termed “semi-liberty”.

The protests began in mid-November over fuel taxes but broadened into a revolt against President Emmanuel Macron.

Dettinger’s case, and the yellow vest movement, have divided France.

In a separate development on Wednesday, the restaurant of a Michelin-starred French chef was targeted in a suspected arson attack – the second time in two weeks.

Prosecutors are now investigating whether Yannick Delpech’s restaurant L’Amphitryon was set ablaze in retaliation for his criticism of the “yellow vest” movement.

What did the court rule?

The verdict was announced by the Paris Criminal Court on Wednesday.

It said that Dettinger would spend one year in prison in the “semi-liberty” regime.

That means he will serve night times in jail, but will be at liberty during the day.

He is also banned from staying in Paris for six months.

A video grab made on 7 January 2019 shows former boxer Christophe Dettinger broadcasting a message of apology for punching police officers during a "yellow vest" protest in Paris
The former champion handed himself into police last month

Reports from the courtroom suggested Dettinger’s supporters were happy with the sentence. He could have been jailed for seven years.

During the trial, he said he had made a “mistake” after seeing police clashing with protesters.

Why is the case so divisive?

Dettinger, who was France’s cruiserweight champion in 2007-08, handed himself into police custody two days after the 5 January protest.

Following his arrest, more than €114,000 (£102,000) was raised in a fundraiser for the former boxer Thousands left comments in support, including some opposition politicians.

The page was then removed after sharp criticism that it condoned violence against the police.

Dettinger, a father of three, had been working as a public servant in the south of the city before the incident.

Before handing himself in to police, Dettinger posted a video of himself on YouTube explaining his actions.

In it, he described himself as an “ordinary citizen” who had “reacted wrongly” in anger after witnessing police using tear-gas and flash-ball (rubber bullet) rounds against protesters.

Another protester, Gwenaelle Antinori Le Joncour, spoke as a witness in Dettinger’s defence in the one-day trial on Wednesday.

“He was seeing a woman of 47 kilos being hit and seeing my oldest son being hit that he couldn’t stand, because there was too much violence,” she said in court.

Gwenaelle Antinori Le Joncour
During the trial, Dettinger’s lawyer argued he was responding to Ms Le Joncour (pictured) being assaulted by police

The number of gilets jaunes (yellow vest) protesters taking to French streets has been gradually falling – but tens of thousands are still turning out weekly to demonstrate across France.

Their protests have often turned violent, causing damage – including to some of Paris’ most famous monuments.

Hundreds of injuries and a number of deaths have also been linked to the demonstrations.

Almost 1,800 people have been sentenced in court so far, mostly with destruction of public property and attacks on the police, AFP reports.

Another 1,400 more protesters are still awaiting trial, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday.

Eric Drouet, one of the group’s leading figures, is due to appear in court in Paris on Friday on charges of illegally organising a demonstration.

Marco Asensio tried more shots (five) than passes (four) after coming off the bench


WED 13 FEB 2019CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – ROUND OF 16 – 1ST LEGAjax1Real Madrid.

Real Madrid claimed a fortunate win at Ajax in the Champions League last-16 first leg.

Ajax played well and had a Nicolas Tagliafico goal ruled out by the first Champions League video assistant referee consultation.

Holders Real took the lead when Karim Benzema blasted into the top corner after fine work by Vinicius Jr.

Hakim Ziyech levelled from 10 yards but Marco Asensio scored the winner from Dani Carvajal’s cross.

The Dutch side had the game’s best chances, with Dusan Tadic hitting the post in the first half and David Neres, who set up Ziyech’s goal, shooting straight at Thibaut Courtois in a one-on-one chance.

Substitute Kasper Dolberg missed a big chance in injury time as he slipped while shooting in the box, with Courtois able to get a hand to it.

VAR introduced at wrong time for Ajax

Dusan Tadic was standing in Thibaut Courtois’ way and in an offside position from Nicolas Tagliafico’s header

The video assistant referee system has been brought into the Champions League for this season’s knockout phases – and it got its first major usage at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Ajax thought they had taken the lead when Tagliafico headed the ball in following a goalmouth scramble. Lasse Schone’s corner found Matthijs de Ligt, whose header was scooped by Courtois into the air. Tagliafico headed the ball into the air over the keeper and Tadic and into the back of the net.

But after a consultation with the video assistant referee team, referee Damir Skomina went across to watch the incident again on his screen and disallowed the goal.

The official had decided Ajax forward Tadic was marginally offside and interfering with play – standing in front of Courtois at the exact moment Tagliafico got his header in. It was the correct decision technically, however without VAR the goal would have stood.

On the balance of play, Ajax had more than deserved Ziyech’s equaliser, which came with his 30th shot of the season – more than any other player in the Champions League.

They failed to make the most of their 19 shots and now face a real task on Tuesday, 5 March at the Bernabeu.

This was Ajax’s first Champions League knockout game in 13 years and with star midfielder Frenkie de Jong already agreeing to join Barcelona this summer, and teenage captain De Ligt among other star players expected to leave, they could have to wait a while before getting to this stage again unless they can overturn their deficit in Madrid.

Real find a way to get the job done again

Real Madrid have had a real aura of invincibility in the tournament, winning the past three finals in a row, all under Zinedine Zidane. No team had managed to defend the Champions League successfully until then.

Zidane has gone, his replacement Julen Lopetegui has been sacked and Santiago Solari is the man in charge now – but they still manage to win in Europe without performing well.

After riding their luck, they got the breakthrough when 18-year-old Vinicius Jr, the youngest player to make a Champions League knockout phase appearance for Real, controlled a long ball on the left wing, cut inside two defenders and squared it for Benzema to blast home his 60th Champions League.

Following Ziyech’s equaliser, substitute Asensio stole away from his marker at the back post to turn home Carvajal’s sumptuous cross into an empty net for a smash-and-grab win.

Captain Sergio Ramos, making his 600th Real appearance, picked up a late yellow card for fouling Dolberg, which means he will miss the second leg – but he will be back for the quarter-finals if Real are there.

Man of the match – Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

Ex-Southampton player Dusan Tadic (left) has scored 22 goals for Ajax this season and caused Real all kinds of problems. As well as hitting the post, he made five key passes, more than any other player

Match stats – Benzema equals Messi haul

  • Ajax have lost their last seven games in European competition against Real Madrid, scoring three and conceding 22.
  • Real have won six of their last seven Champions League away games in the knockout stages (L1), winning each of the last four.
  • Ajax are winless in their last six Champions League knockout games at home (D3 L3), their last win coming in March 1996 against Borussia Dortmund.
  • Real’s Karim Benzema has either scored or assisted a goal in each of his six Champions League matches against Ajax (four goals, four assists).
  • No other La Liga player has scored more goals than Real Madrid’s Benzema in 2019 in all competitions (eight, level with Lionel Messi).
  • Vinicius Jr has provided eight assists in all competitions for Real – more than any of his team-mates.

Gay couples sue Japan over right to get married


Ai Nakajima and Tina Baumann are married in Germany, but Japan doesn’t recognise that

Thirteen same-sex couples across Japan are taking legal action on Thursday against the government, demanding the right to get married.

They are suing for symbolic damages arguing that being barred from marriage violates their constitutional rights.

Should the courts agree, it would mean same-sex unions will have to be permitted in future.

Japan is the only G7 country that does not allow gay marriage but surveys suggest strong support for the case.

The country’s constitution says that “marriage shall be only with the mutual consent of both sexes” and authorities have until now always read this as not permitting same-sex marriage.

But the lawyers for Thursday’s plaintiffs counter that the text of the constitution was to prevent forced marriages and there isn’t anything in it that explicitly prohibits same-sex marriage.

They argue in turn that the refusal to allow same-sex marriage is a violation of the constitutional right that all people should be equal under the law.

‘A very conservative society’

The 13 couples will all file their case on Valentine’s Day, in different cities across the country.

One of the couples is 40-year old Ai Nakajima from Japan and 31-year old German, Tina Baumann.

The two have been together since 2011 when they met in Berlin. After living a few years in Germany, they then moved to Japan. But living as a same-sex couple was very different in the two countries.

“Japanese society is by nature very conservative,” Ms Nakajima told the BBC.

Many of their friends don’t dare to out themselves as homosexual and hide their partners from families and even friends.

Japan is a very traditional country but polls indicate that the vast majority of younger Japanese support same-sex marriage.

Since 2015, some cities issue certificates for same-sex couples yet those are not legally binding and merely call on businesses to accord equal treatment.

REUTERS

In 2015 the Shibuya ward was the first to issue same-sex certificates

“So while among younger people there is an overwhelming support for gay marriage, politicians tend to be older and are very hesitant when it comes to changing things,” Ms Nakajima says.

The group knows the court cases will of course draw public attention to their struggle but there is genuine hope they might be successful.

“We are prepared to take this to the supreme court,” Ms Nakajima explains. “If we have to take that route, it might take more than five years.”

German marriage rejected

The two got married in Germany and soon afterwards applied for that marriage to be recognised in Yokohama where they currently live.

As they had expected, the German marriage was not recognised.

For the two of them, this means concrete problems – Ms Baumann is currently studying but once she graduates will require a new visa to be allowed to stay in the country.

For a married couple such a visa would easily be issued to a spouse – but that’s not the case for same-sex partnerships.

The problems don’t stop there though, the two women explain.

“In Germany it’s a lot easier to come out and just live the way you choose to as an individual,” Ms Baumann says.

“In Japan however, gender roles are a lot more traditional and a woman is expected to marry and have children. In many cases, it’s even still expected that a woman will stop working once she becomes a mother.”

AI NAKAJIMA

The two say life as a gay couple is very different in Germany and Japan

Many of their friends don’t dare to talk openly to their families for fear of being outcast.

“It’s almost like you’re being banished,” Ms Nakajima says. “And it affects many aspects of your life. If you for instance want to rent a house as a same-sex couple, you might be rejected because of this. Or you might not be able to take out a loan as couple if you want to buy a property together.”

“It’s really like in almost every situation that we are facing problems,” she says.

“We have received some criticism from the public that we should just move to Germany rather than make trouble here in Japan,” the German says.

Yet in the end, they decided that standing up for what they believe in was more important.

Thursday’s lawsuit will likely be only the first step in a long process to eventually allow same-sex couples to get married in Japan.

Name checks on payments face delay”:


A system making a recipient’s name as important as the bank account number and sort code when payments are made could be delayed by up to 18 months.

The Confirmation of Payee system means anyone making a payment will be alerted if the name does not match the account.

It is designed to prevent millions of pounds worth of fraud and regulators wanted it to start in July.

But UK Finance, which represents banks, said the system would not be ready until “some time next year”.

The Payment Systems Regulator, which will ultimately set the deadline, said it wanted the new rules to be in place as soon as possible, but only when they could be effective.

At present, anyone making a payment adds the intended recipient’s name, but it is ignored by the bank. Only the account number and sort code need to match for the payment to be successful, so fraudsters pose as someone legitimate to trick victims into paying them money.

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How Confirmation of Payee will work

When setting up a new payment, or amending an existing one, banks will be able to check the name on the account of the person or organisation you are paying.

  • If you use the correct account name, you will receive confirmation that the details match, so you can proceed with the payment
  • If you use a similar name to the account holder, you will be provided with the actual name of the account holder to check. You can update the details and try again, or contact the intended recipient to check the details
  • If you enter the wrong name for the account holder, you will be told the details do not match and advised to contact the person or organisation you are trying to pay.
Confirmation of payee explanation graphic

The aim of Confirmation of Payee is to cut down on so-called authorised push payment (APP) scams, in which people are conned into sending money to another account.

One APP victim was Angelene Bungay, of Shrewsbury, who was duped into paying £13,000 to someone posing as the builder carrying out her loft conversion. She was not refunded by her bank. Banks typically refund only about a fifth of the money that goes missing, pointing to legislation that says customers may be liable if they authorise the payment and are negligent.

Hundreds of millions of pounds have been lost in this kind of scam, with some victims losing life-changing sums.

During evidence to the Commons’ Treasury Committee, Stephen Jones, of UK Finance, said for the first time that it was the intention that victims would be reimbursed when neither the bank or the victim were to blame for the fraud. This could eventually be funded from insurance, although other options are being considered.

Start date unconfirmed

He also said that Confirmation of Payee would not be ready by July, which was the regulator’s suggestion during consultation, but some time next year. He said it had not dropped down the list of banks’ priorities, but was a complex change in their IT and processing systems.

“This is a big change at a time of a lot of change,” he told the committee.

A spokesman for the regulator, the PSR, said: “We want to see Confirmation of Payee brought in as soon as possible and also make sure that when it is introduced, it is an effective way to stop this crime taking place.

“As it stands, we are still working through the responses to our consultation and so no decisions on timing have been made.”

Consumer groups have previously accused banks of dragging their heels on introducing the system.

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How to protect yourself against fraud

Banking trade body UK Finance offers the following advice:

  • Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
  • Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic
  • Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
  • Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
  • Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret