The UK, Russia, France and Italy were among the countries to experience a year-on-year increase in card fraud losses in 2013, according to new research.

A study by predictive analytics and decision management software company Fico found that the Netherlands and Hungary reduced card fraud losses by a greater percentage than any of the other 18 nations assessed.

Overall losses reached €1.55 billion, which represented a new high and surpassed the previous peak in 2008, according to data supplied by market intelligence provider Euromonitor International. The research covered five categories, including counterfeit fraud, card stolen and ID theft.

While the UK experienced £450 million in losses, the highest level since 2008, both France and Greece had higher ratios of fraud losses to card sales, at seven basis points. The fastest growth of card fraud losses in Europe occurred in Russia, where losses reportedly jumped 28% compared to 2012.

The UK and France experienced 62% of the total fraud losses for the 19 countries in the fraud map, which Fico said reflected their higher rates of card usage that make them targets for criminals. Fico has produced a map of card fraud in Europe, highlighting each country's figures.

Martin Warwick, a principal fraud consultant at FICO in EMEA, said: "These losses are a wake-up call that should start a new wave of anti-fraud initiatives by regional bodies and card issuers.

"After the previous peak, in 2008, this led to new fraud migration patterns. Unfortunately, many organisations do not maintain continuous investment in fraud prevention systems and staff – they invest only when the problem grows. The companies and countries that aren't investing this year will be the new targets for criminal activity."

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