Written evidence submitted by eBay

Dear Mr Stride,

Thank you for your letter to Will Semple of 1 October concerning the Committee’s Economic Crime inquiry. Mr Semple has asked me to reply on his behalf.




eBay takes the issue of online fraud extremely seriously. Unlike for other platforms, fraud represents a source of financial loss to our business and to our customers – firstly, because of money paid out via our eBay Money Back Guarantee (see below for details) but also because of the associated loss of trust generated by bad buyer experience. Our data demonstrates that negative buyer experiences lead to consumers either spending less on our platform or not coming back at all. We therefore invest heavily in creating a safe marketplace for our buyers and sellers with multiple teams engaged in our trust and safety efforts – from our Information Security and Risk Teams to our Global Asset Protection and IP and Legal teams.



Expenditure by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on your platform to protect consumers


Data transfer to identify and prevent fraud and other economic crime


Advertising policies for financial services


Online Fraud Steering Group


Meetings with government departments about economic crime


Compensation of customers for financial fraud





Online fraud is a complex and multi-faceted problem – one that requires complex solutions and which cannot be solved by any single actor or group of actors. Any policy response requires close cooperation between government, law enforcement and industry, as well as extensive collaboration within industry – between online platforms and other actors such as banks, credit card companies as well as browser manufacturers, software providers and email providers to name but a few. It requires better educated consumers armed with the tools they need to protect themselves. And as a global problem - online and offline – it demands global solutions.


For that reason, we would caution against imposing a broad-based duty of care in respect of online fraud or economic crime. Instead, any regulation needs to be proportionate and targeted on specific harms – for example, financial and investment scams. We would also note that there is no shortage of legislation in respect of online fraud. The real problem in our view is one of enforcement with a lack of resources devoted to cybercrime within law enforcement budgets. As the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in the number of cyber attacks and scams, we would recommend that a greater proportion of the current law and order budget is devoted to tackling these crimes.


Finally, we welcome the focus of the Committee on this issue and look forward to working with it and other policy- makers to shaping the Government’s response in this area.


Yours sincerely,


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Alasdair McGowan

Director of Government Relations, UK & Ireland eBay UK Ltd


October 2021