Confidential information on customers' earnings and health as well
as passport details had ended up for sale, The Mail on Sunday
reported, citing data provided to it by a whistleblower.
Barclays said it had notified regulators and started an
investigation, the initial findings of which suggested the files
were linked to the Barclays Financial Planning business which closed
"This appears to be criminal action and we will co-operate with the
authorities on pursuing the perpetrator," the bank said in a
statement on Sunday.
The data leak is a new blow for the British bank after a string of
scandals for mis-selling payment protection insurance and
manipulating benchmark interest rates, which have resulted in
billions of pounds in fines and compensation payouts.
The bank could face new fines should it be found at fault over this
Britain's data privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's
Office (ICO), can impose fines of up to 500,000 pounds for serious
breaches of the country's data protection rules, while Britain's
financial watchdog, The Financial Conduct Authority, has the power
to impose unlimited fines.
The ICO said in a statement that it would be working with the
newspaper and police to find out what has happened.
The Mail on Sunday said it had been shown 2,000 files on the bank's
customers some of which were 20 pages long and containing some of
the individuals' attitudes to risk. The whistleblower said there
were 25,000 more files on a database.
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According to the newspaper, the stolen data is worth millions on the
black market because it allows rogue brokers to target people in
Barclays thanked the Mail on Sunday for bringing the data leak to
"Protecting our customers' data is a top priority and we take this
issue extremely seriously," Barclays said in its statement.
"We would like to reassure all of our customers that we have taken
every practical measure to ensure that personal and financial
details remain as safe and secure as possible."
Barclays has been trying to rebuild its reputation after becoming
the first bank fined for its part in a global scam to manipulate
Libor benchmark interest rates in 2012. The Libor scandal led to the
resignation of chief executive Bob Diamond and chairman Marcus Agius.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by
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