February 3, 2010 12:58 pm

Skipton apologises to customers for data breach

Skipton Building Society has apologised to customers after a serious breach of data security procedures resulted in thousands of savers receiving financial details about other customers in a recent mailing.

The UK’s fourth largest building society said a third party printing error led to the details of 3,115 customers with passbook accounts being printed on the back of other people’s statements.

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However, the company said the details revealed were not enough to put customers at risk of fraud, as the accounts required a signature to make withdrawals and could not be used over the internet. Despite this, it has written to all affected customers, apologising and offering them a new account number for additional peace of mind.

Stacey Dickens, a Skipton spokeswoman, said: “We have written to those affected to apologise and to reassure them that the correspondence contained insufficient information to enable any unauthorised transactions on their accounts. We are also offering to change the account numbers of any customers seeking additional peace of mind.

”As a responsible business, we are in constant dialogue with our regulator and update them as a matter of course regarding business developments such as this.”

Skipton said the City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, had been made aware of the incident which happened at the end of January.

News of the security breach is likely to further anger customers following last week’s decision by the society to backtrack on its promise to existing mortgage borrowers by announcing it will increase its standard variable rate (SVR) from 3.5 per cent to 4.95 per cent.

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