Hong Kong banks will step up security measures in the next two months to safeguard their automated teller machines (ATMs) after a spate of fraud cases involving nearly $2 million in the past year. Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong said yesterday that banks should increase security no later than the end of January to protect themselves from ATM crime. In reported cases, clients found that money was withdrawn from their accounts through ATMs without their knowledge. It is believed these unauthorised transactions were made after data was taken from customers' bank cards, their PIN numbers were stolen and then fake cards were produced. Mr Yam said that of the 36 reported cases, 21 had been resolved with the banks. Police are still investigating these cases. 'The HKMA will not tolerate any ATM fraud. Even if there is only one case, we would consider it unacceptable,' Mr Yam told legislators at yesterday's financial affairs panel meeting. 'All banks must, if they have not yet done so, introduce measures as soon as possible to safeguard their ATMs to protect the interests of their clients.' Measures include installation of closed-circuit television cameras and increased patrols of ATMs.