Bloomberg has admitted that its reporters have been accessing client information through its financial data computer terminals
In a statement confirming press reports, the company's CEO, Daniel Doctoroff, says reporters had access to "limited customer relationship management data" through the terminals, which are used widely on Wall Street and in the City.
Having been available to reporters since the 1990s, access was finally cut off last month after a client - understood to be Goldman Sachs - complained about the practice.
Goldman discovered that its terminals were being monitored partly because a Bloomberg reporter noted to a bank executive that a partner had not logged into his machine for some time, says the New York Post, which broke the story.
Reporters could see users' login history and when a login was created as well as "high-level types of user functions on an aggregated basis, with no ability to look into specific security information," according to Bloomberg News editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler.
"At no time did reporters have access to trading, portfolio, monitor, blotter or other related systems. Nor did they have access to clients' messages to one another. They couldn't see the stories that clients were reading or the securities clients might be looking at," says Winkler.
Doctoroff says that the firm realises that enabling reporters to access data was a "mistake" and that a senior executive has now been appointed to the new role of client data compliance officer to tighten up procedures.
Meanwhile, clients, including the Federal Reserve and US Treasury, say that they are looking into the matter and have contacted Bloomberg to find out exactly what has happened.