Payment service providers could do more to support victims of fraud, including through better communication procedures, a review by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found.

The FCA said while its review of firms’ fraud controls and complaint handling found examples of good practice, “[W]e were also disappointed with the way some firms supported customers who were the victims of fraud.”

The regulator, in a press release Tuesday, listed “poor complaint handling, including firms often taking too long to respond,” among issue areas observed. “Customers were provided with decision letters that were sometimes unclear; confusing; or included unhelpful and, on occasion, accusatory language,” the FCA said.

The U.S. Department of Justice last year similarly indicated businesses must do more to support fraud victims. The agency’s Criminal Division now asks companies to enhance how they address victim issues during its determination process on whether to criminally charge a corporation.

The FCA said it is working with firms to strengthen their approach to detecting fraud and supporting victims.

“We expect all payment service providers to use our findings to inform what more they can do to detect, manage, and reduce fraud and losses more effectively,” the regulator said. “Customer treatment must also be improved, including how complaints are handled, to deliver consistently good consumer outcomes in line with the Consumer Duty.”

The FCA said it undertook its review after trade association U.K. Finance found more than 116,000 people reported falling victim to authorized push payment fraud during the first six months of 2023, a 22 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022.

Examples of effective antifraud practices the FCA found included use of behavioral biometrics by firms to try and identify whether a customer is being socially engineered; implementation of risk-based, automated warning messages during the payment journey; and manual intervention for potentially high-risk payments to ensure a transaction is legitimate.