LONDON (Reuters) - British lender Wonga has warned customers in Britain and Poland that their personal data may have been stolen in the latest major corporate security breach.
Cyber attacks have recently affected other British banks, businesses and institutions, including Tesco Bank, Lloyds, Talk-Talk, and the National Health Service
"Wonga is urgently investigating illegal and unauthorized access to the personal data of some of its customers in the UK and Poland," the firm, which offers short-term unsecured consumer loans, said in a statement on Sunday.
A source close to Wonga said the data could include the addresses and bank account numbers of up to 270,000 past and present customers, including 245,000 in Britain.
"We are working closely with authorities and we are in the process of informing affected customers. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused," Wonga said.
The source said a hack was detected on Tuesday, but that the firm was not aware personal data had been compromised until Friday and it began notifying customers on Saturday.
The so-called "payday lending" industry has been heavily criticized by those who say its interest rates and marketing tactics prey on vulnerable borrowers.
Wonga agreed to pay compensation of more than 2.6 million pounds ($3.22 million) to 45,000 customers in 2014.
Reporting by William James; editing by Alexander Smith