Bank of England adviser: ‘Everyone should have two bank accounts in case of cyber attack’

Banking expert warns cyber threat is so great we all need two accounts to guarantee access to cash

A leading banking academic and former adviser to the Bank of England has said everyone should have two bank accounts – so they can still access money if a major bank is crippled by a cyber attack.

Peter Hahn, senior fellow in banking at London’s Cass Business School, and between 2009 and 2014 a senior adviser to the Bank of England, said cyber crime was a new and growing risk which tended to be “not discussed”.

“How many bank accounts do you have?” he asked. “I’d certainly rather have two in case my bank was attacked. I would want to know I could still get money out of the other one.”

Before becoming an academic Mr Hahn worked for several major banks including CitiGroup and Societe Generale.

His remarks came in an interview with the BBC’s Today Programme ahead of the release by the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee of its latest Financial Stability Report.

Almost half of leading banks now said cyber risk was a “key concern”, up from 10pc 12 months ago.

The Office for National Statistics has also started to count cyber crime, which pushed up the number of reported crimes for 2014-15 by more than 100pc when the figures were published in October.

Total number of crimes

Crime Cyber crime
2001-2002 12366000 0
2002-2003 12018000 0
2003-2004 11417000 0
2004-2005 10550000 0
2005-2006 10581000 0
2006-2007 10942000 0
2007-2008 9842000 0
2008-2009 10283000 0
2009-2010 9344000 0
2010-2011 9446000 0
2011-2012 9345000 0
2012-2013 8487000 0
2013-2014 7059000 0
2014-2015 6505000 7571000

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