Barclays is facing tough questions from financial regulators, after the Mail on Sunday reported that it had uncovered evidence to suggest thousands of customers’ personal details were sold onto rogue City traders.
The Mail said it had been handed a memory stick with details of customers’ earnings, savings, mortgages and even passport numbers. It said the data could be worth millions of pounds on the black market, because it allowed individuals to be targeted by insurance scams.
The newspaper reportedly had access to around 2,000 customers’ details, with a whistleblower saying that a further 25,000 were available.
Barclays will now face probes from the financial regulators. It responded by launching an urgent investigation into the claims, and has said it would fully co-operate with the relevant authorities.
A spokesperson for the high street bank said, ”We will take all necessary steps to contact and advise those customers as soon as possible so that they can also ensure the safety of their personal data.”
They said protecting customers’ data was a “top priority”, adding, “This appears to be criminal action and we will co-operate with the authorities on pursuing the perpetrator.”
Regulators have the power to impose hefty fines on matters relating to data security if findings suggest the bank’s handling of customer information was careless.
Back in 2009, HSBC was handed a £3m penalty by the now defunct Financial Services Authority (FSA) for its “careless” handling of information relating to a stolen disc back in 2008, which contained information about 180,000 policyholders.