HKMA call for tougher policies follows 33 cases of card fraud in past 12 months Four leading banks yesterday said they would review the security measures at their ATMs in light of a warning from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). The authority sent a circular to banks on Tuesday, setting out precautionary measures they should consider. The warning was prompted by reports of 33 ATM frauds in the past 12 months. Those included cases in which the victims had money stolen from their accounts without having their bank cards stolen. Some of the frauds involved criminals copying data from a card before customers received it in the mail. They then copied the data onto a counterfeit card and replaced the real card in the mail. Customers were unaware of the problem until the illegal transactions showed up on statements. The precautionary measures the HKMA has recommended include the installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) and more frequent patrols of ATMs. The authority also said that in many cases compensation should be paid to victims of fraud according to the code of banking practice as soon as possible. A spokeswoman for HSBC, Virginia Lo Chan Sau-king, said the bank would examine its policies for areas of possible improvement in the light of the HKMA circular. Hang Seng Bank said it was studying the circular to see how it could comply with the recommendations. Standard Chartered said it would review its policies on ATMs as part of its regular exercise to make improvements. A spokeswoman for BOC Hong Kong said the bank attached great importance to ATM security. 'In light of the fraud cases and the HKMA circular, we will review our policies more comprehensively,' she said, adding that the bank had already tightened its security measures. As for compensating customers who claim money was stolen from their accounts, all four banks said that would be decided depending on the merits of each case. Some readers have lodged complaints with the South China Morning Post over the past week that some banks have unfairly held them liable for withdrawals they did not make. One person said he learned from a bank statement that $10,000 had been taken from his HSBC savings account one night 18 months ago. He said his card never left his wallet on the night the withdrawal was made. While he reported the case to the bank and the police, he was told by HSBC that it was his responsibility, since his card was not stolen. He said the bank should have installed CCTV cameras at all their ATM machines. 'This would make customers feel safer with their money and prevent these scams,' he said. HSBC and Hang Seng Bank declined to say, for security reasons, if all their ATMs were monitored by CCTVs. Both Standard Chartered and BOC Hong Kong said it was technically impossible to install CCTVs at some ATM locations.