Tags: Barclays | Probe | Theft | Data

Barclays Probes Possible Theft of Customers' Data

Sunday, 09 Feb 2014 04:35 PM

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest bank by assets, has spoken with regulators, customers and British authorities about what appears to be a criminal leak of customer account information.

A Barclays probe into the leak suggests the data is from 2008 or earlier and is linked to a financial planning unit that was shut in 2011, Carey Withey, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. London-based Barclays is taking “all necessary steps” to contact the clients affected, she said.

As many as 27,000 customer files containing personal and financial information were taken, the Mail on Sunday reported today, citing an unidentified whistle-blower. It’s unclear how the files were stolen, the newspaper said, adding the data may be sold to brokers to be used for “investment scams.”

“We are grateful to the Mail on Sunday for bringing this to our attention and we contacted the Information Commission and other regulators on Friday as soon as we were made aware,” Withey said. “This appears to be criminal action and we will cooperate with the authorities on pursuing the perpetrator.”

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority said it will work with Barclays “to understand exactly what has happened and what steps consumers may need to take,” Lara Joseph, a spokeswoman for the regulator, wrote in an e-mail.

Privacy ‘Crucial’

“It’s crucial that people’s personal information is properly looked after,” the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office said via an e-mailed statement. “We’ll be working with the Mail on Sunday this week to get further details of what has happened here, as well as working with the police.” A spokesman for the City of London Corporation, which administers the capital’s business district, did not immediately return a call and e-mail request for comment outside normal business hours.

The disclosure of the data leak comes less than a week after Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins turned down his 2013 bonus, acknowledging that regulatory penalties and lawsuits have continued to impose costs on the bank. Regulators are investigating Barclays for possible manipulation of foreign-exchange markets and the bank is reviewing its trading over a “several-year” period, the company said in October.

Barclays is also being probed over whether it properly disclosed 322 million pounds ($528 million) of payments to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as part of a 7 billion-pound fundraising during the financial crisis. The bank was fined 290 million pounds for manipulating the London interbank offered rate in 2012, which led to the departure of its then-CEO Robert Diamond.

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Barclays Plc, the U.K.'s second-largest bank by assets, has spoken with regulators, customers and British authorities about what appears to be a criminal leak of customer account information.
Barclays,Probe,Theft,Data
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2014-35-09
Sunday, 09 Feb 2014 04:35 PM
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