Barclays launches investigation after customer data leak

Sun Feb 9, 2014 6:05am EST
 
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By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays said it had launched an investigation after a newspaper reported that the personal details of 27,000 customers had been stolen and sold, raising the prospect of new fines for the bank.

Confidential information on customers' earnings and health as well as passport details had ended up for sale, The Mail on Sunday reported, citing data provided to it by a whistleblower.

Barclays said it had notified regulators and started an investigation, the initial findings of which suggested the files were linked to the Barclays Financial Planning business which closed in 2011.

"This appears to be criminal action and we will co-operate with the authorities on pursuing the perpetrator," the bank said in a statement on Sunday.

The data leak is a new blow for the British bank after a string of scandals for mis-selling payment protection insurance and manipulating benchmark interest rates, which have resulted in billions of pounds in fines and compensation payouts.

The bank could face new fines should it be found at fault over this data leak.

Britain's data privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), can impose fines of up to 500,000 pounds for serious breaches of the country's data protection rules, while Britain's financial watchdog, The Financial Conduct Authority, has the power to impose unlimited fines.

The ICO said in a statement that it would be working with the newspaper and police to find out what has happened.   Continued...

 
Raindrops are seen on the logo of a rental bicycle sponsored by Barclays in London July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville