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There has been a significant increase in the number of cyber incidents that financial service providers report to the UK watchdog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Last year there were 819 incidents, compared to 69 incidents in 2017.

Phishing and ransomware attacks are the most reported forms of cyber attacks on financial services providers. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by the RSM audit and consultancy firm, according to ZDNet. However, most incidents were caused by problems other than attacks.

Most of the problems were caused by failure by a third party. These kinds of incidents accounted for 21 percent of the reports. 19 percent were caused by problems with hardware and software, 18 percent by changes in management.

Cyber-attacks were only on the fourth site of the incidents. In 2018, 93 cyber attacks were reported by financial service providers. More than half, 48 of them, were phising attacks. Nineteen cases involved ransomware.

Retail banks

Most incidents were reported by retail banks. 486 of the incidents were theirs. The financial markets provided 115 reports, while retail investment firms had 53.

According to RSM, the growth of incidents seems alarming, but it is partly because companies are much more proactive in reporting incidents to the watchdog. There is also a greater focus on security and reporting of data breaches, as a result of the GDPR privacy legislation.

RSM also points out that many of the cyber incidents were linked to changes in management. This highlights the risk of ineffective management of changes in the IT environment.


The FCA refused to respond to the new data. In November last year, however, the watchdog said that financial service providers had reported 187% more technological failures in the year between October 2017 and October 2018. 18 percent of the incidents reported were cyber-related.

The FCA then went on to say that it was concerned about the number of reported technology incidents. Many failures were linked to changes to technology platforms and problems with outsourcing.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.