Central banks confirm formed task force on payments fraud

Benoit Coeure, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), gestures during the session 'The Global Economic Outlook' in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A committee of the world’s major central banks said on Friday it has launched a task force to examine cyber security in cross-border banking and to ensure interbank payments are protected, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

“Recent incidents of cyber fraud are of significant concern for the central banking community, and we are working to make sure there are adequate checks and balances in place at each stage of the payments process,” Benoit Coeure, chairman of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, part of the Bank for International Settlements, said in a statement.

Coeure, also a European Central Bank executive board member, added it was too soon to predict the result of the work that had just begun. The Basel, Switzerland-based committee will decide how to proceed based on a review of current practices, he said.

Reuters reported the formation of the task force on Thursday, noting it was prompted by the February cyber heist of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

That hacking incident exposed vulnerabilities in the global wholesale payments infrastructure, and in the messaging network called SWIFT, that banks and states rely upon for daily funding.

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alan Crosby