UK banks' online security may not be as stringent as you may imagine, with a study suggesting that Abbey and Halifax are not as secure as their rivals.

Which? Computing states that Halifax's log-in procedure – which requires the user type in all of their information – could be prone to keyloggers.

And Abbey, HSBC and Halifax were pulled up for things like not asking for a password when transferring money, or automatically logging out customers when another website was visited.

Praise

Barclays and Lloyds TSB, however, won praise for their security, which used things like drop down boxes to protect customer passwords and defend against keyloggers.

The overall rankings saw Barclays top, followed by first direct, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, NatWest and RBS.

Alliance & Leicester and HSBC got given an average grade by Which? with Abbey and Halifax considered poor.

Last year, online banking fraud losses topped £52 million, a rise of 132 per cent.