UK bank fined for losing customer data

The UK’s financial services regulator last week fined a major British bank for its loss last summer of a laptop computer containing confidential customer information.

The Financial Services Authority fined Swindon, England-based Nationwide Building Society £ 980,000 ($1.9 million U.S.) for “failing to have effective systems and controls to manage its information security risks,” the FSA said in a statement.

The laptop was stolen from an employee’s home during a burglary in August, Nationwide said in a statement. The bank said that it believes the thief was after the laptop rather than the information stored on it.

The data was compiled for marketing purposes and did not contain any personal identification numbers, passwords or account balance information, the company said.

Nationwide, which has about 11 million customers, did not immediately realise that the stolen laptop contained customer information and waited three weeks before starting an investigation, according to the FSA.

Nationwide said that it has informed its customers of the problem and that no losses have been reported. It also commissioned a review of its information security, the FSA said.

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