The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is conducting an audit of
Halifax Bank of Scotland's
(HBOS) data security procedures after it was revealed that the bank was putting
customers' financial documents in ordinary bins.
The act, uncovered by the BBC's Watchdog
programme, is in breach of an undertaking to the ICO signed by HBOS earlier
this year after it was found throwing out documents containing customer
Watchdog reporters said they found torn up bank statements
which revealed customer names and account numbers and a complete, untorn cheque
for nearly £1,700 in a bin outside a branch of Halifax.
HBOS apologised in a statement. “We're very sorry for any inconvenience
we've caused. All of the relevant authorities, including the Information
Commissioner and Financial Services Authority (FSA), were informed immediately.
“We process over 100 million transactions through our branch network
every year. This incident, which is clearly regrettable, needs to be viewed
within that context. Following the approach from Watchdog, we're
reviewing our procedures again,” said the bank. (source)
The dumping of customers financial documents has nothing to
do with processing, it is to do with a lack of care, a lack of due diligence in
securing customer data, which could make Halifax (HBOS) an enabler of ID fraud.
We await the ICO’s report with interest. The fight to deprive the fraudsters of their source material must go on.