Santander is being probed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after a claimed printer cock-up resulted in the company sending 35,000 bank statements to the wrong addresses.
The financial giant has written to customers to warn them about the blunder, which took place over the Christmas period, but has tried to play down potential security problems or a data breach.
“Due to a technical error at our printers, a number of current account statements dated December 18 have printed incorrectly,” the banks said.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and have taken immediate steps to correct this. We take the security of customer and account information extremely seriously so any incidents of this nature is treated with the highest priority.
“We want to reassure customers that the risk of fraud on their account has not been increased because of this error and that this is a one-off incident.”
A spokesman at the Information Commissioner’s Office said: “We have recently been informed of a data breach involving Santander. We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the apparent breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”
Late last year the ICO warned errant brand owners that they face fines of up to £500,000, after issuing the first monetary penalties for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act. At the time, Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “These first monetary penalties send a strong message to all organisations handling personal information. Get it wrong and you do substantial harm to individuals and the reputation of your business. You could also be fined up to £500,000.”
Brands warned over £500k fines