Europe registered a £54m drop in card fraud loss in 2020, which was primarily led by the UK and Denmark, according to a report published by FICO.

Between them, the two countries accounted for a reduction of £78m.

The UK reported a drop of £46m, which represents a decline of 7% year-on-year.

Hungary also made significant progress by reducing fraud levels by €2m or 39%. It achieved the third-best reduction in fraud loss of the studied countries.

FICO VP for financial services in EMEA Matt Cox said: “Fraudsters are constantly scanning for access to poorly protected accounts and opportunities to manipulate transactions and this is what made 2020 such a challenge.

“Fraud teams would have faced wave after wave of sophisticated COVID and Brexit scams, which makes the success of UK financial institutions – protecting Brits’ finances – even more impressive.”

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FICO fraud consulting senior director Toby Carlin said: “After achieving the largest single reduction of any European country in 2019, the banks of the UK have repeated this, with the best net reductions of the 18 countries in this report for the second year running.”

Only five of the 18 countries analysed by FICO achieved a reduction in card fraud.

Norway faced the biggest scale of attacks with a 172% year-on-year increase.

France, Germany, and Poland also saw an increase in fraud levels. This led to additional fraud losses of €33m.

Countries like Turkey, Spain and the Czech Republic showed a relatively flat trend through 2020.

Cox noted that more needs to be done across the other European states to drive a truly collaborative reduction in all areas.