Matrix Bancorp reports computer theft

Matrix Bancorp reports computer theft

Colorado-based Matrix Bancorp has become the latest US financial institution to report the theft of computer equipment containing the confidential account details of banking customers.

In a statement, the bank says it is investigating the theft of two laptops from its headquarters in Denver on Friday 28th July. The computers were stolen from the branch in a daytime heist, some time between 1:30pm and 2:30pm when office staff were "temporarily absent".

One of the laptops contains what the bank calls "certain proprietary information regarding Matrix Capital Bank and some of its customers".

Matrix says the stolen laptops are password protected and the information on them encrypted. The bank is in now the process of contacting affected customers and says it has no reason to believe that any confidential data has been misused, although it is monitoring the affected accounts.

The bank is offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the two computers.

The incident is the latest in a series of security breaches at US financial firms. Earlier this year, a laptop containing personal financial data on 196,000 Hewlett-Packard employees was stolen from US fund manager Fidelity, while in 2005 both ABN Amro and Citibank lost customer data in similar circumstances.

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