CitiFinancial, the consumer finance subsidiary of Citigroup, is notifying 3.9 million customers that unencrypted tapes containing their personal financial data have been lost while in transit to a credit bureau.
CitiFinancial says it has sent out letters to its branch network customers whose personal data was on computer tapes that were lost by the bank's third party courier, UPS.
The tapes contain names, social security numbers, account numbers and payment histories for CitiFinancial branch network customers in the US as well as customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail Services.
The bank says it provides this information each month to credit bureaux to ensure that customers credit reports remain accurate and up-to-date. In this instance a courier lost a box of tapes that was being transported from the bank's data centre to the bureaux.
In a statement, CitiFinancial says it had no reason to believe that the data had been used inappropriately, nor has it received any reports of unauthorised activity.
Kevin Kessinger, EVP of Citigroup's global consumer group and president of consumer finance North America, says as of next month, the information provided to credit bureaus will be sent will be sent electronically in encrypted form.
Last week investment bank UBS said it was investigating the disappearance of a hard disk from its Tokyo office which contains data on 15,500 accounts, which in some cases include client names, addresses, telephone numbers, account numbers, transaction records and account balances.
And in December last year Bank of America "lost" computer tapes containing charge card account information for 1.2 million government card holders during transfer to a backup data centre.