25 November 2015

Barclays customer data stolen and sold to rogue traders

10 February 2014  |  5581 views  |  1 barclays signage through window 2

Authorities are investigating a security breach at Barclays which saw the confidential information of thousands of customers stolen and sold on to unscrupulous City traders.

The bank, police, Financial Conduct Authority and Information Commissioner are all looking into the breach after it was exposed by the Mail on Sunday.

The tabloid says that a whistleblower handed over a memory stick containing details on the earnings, savings, mortgages, health issues and insurance policies of around 2000 Barclays customers.

The information - which also includes passport and national insurance numbers - comes from a stolen database of up to 27,000 files, each around 20 pages long and containing details on customers who had sought financial advice from the bank, the whistleblower claims.

The Mail on Sunday says that the data is "worth millions on the black market" in part because it contains the results of psychometric tests which reveal customers' attitude to risk and could be exploited to talk them into buying "questionable investments".

Some of the 'Barclays leads' ended up in the hands of shady boiler-room operaters, the newspaper said, and from December 2012 to September last year a number of victims were persuaded to buy rare earth metals that did not exist, it is claimed.

Says the whistleblower: "The data is a gold mine for traders because it is so incredibly detailed. It gets them inside the customer's head."

The bank says that the leak seems to have affected customers who used its Barclays Financial Planning business, which was shut in 2011. Regulators have been called in and customers are being contacted.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member | 11 February, 2014, 07:17

...the files are claimed to contain psychological profiles of customers and can be used to identify customers prone to buy questionable investment instruments... If this is true - how come the bank needed such analysis of its customers seeking financial advice? Was it seeking "soft targets" for its investments offers instead of giving advice?  

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board, sign up now.

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

03 February, 2014
02 January, 2014
20 September, 2013
07 June, 2013
26 August, 2010
13 January, 2010

Related company news


Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
MIT to run fintech degree course
8507 views comments | 35 tweets | 14 linkedin
Coinbase issues Bitcoin debit card
7692 views comments | 16 tweets | 21 linkedin
Apple Pay users given a free ride in Londo...
7628 views comments | 21 tweets | 29 linkedin
UK banks hardest hit by non-bank money tra...
7457 views comments | 27 tweets | 30 linkedin
R3 blockchain collaboration project builds...
6313 views comments | 30 tweets | 27 linkedin

Featured job

Brussels (Belgium) or Paris (France)

Find your next job