A string of high street banks and the Post Office broke data protection rules by dumping customers’ personal details in outdoor bins.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has found 13 firms in breach of the Data Protection Act.
These include HBOS, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scarborough Building Society, Clydesdale Bank, NatWest, United National Bank, Barclays Bank, Co-operative Bank, HFC Bank and Nationwide Building Society,.
The Post Office and the Immigration Advisory Service were also found to have broken data protection rules
Each of the firms dumped personal information in bins outside their premises. ICO Deputy Commissioner David Smith said: ‘It is unacceptable for banks and other organisations to carelessly discard their customers’ information.
‘It is vital that banks and other organisations take security seriously.
‘If they do not, they not only risk further action from the Information Commissioner, but also risk losing the trust of their customers.
‘Individuals must feel confident that banks and other organisations are safeguarding their personal information.’
Data Protection Act
The privacy watchdog ordered the firms to sign a formal undertaking to comply with the Data Protection Act in future.
Failure to abide by the rules will result in further enforcement action and possibly prosecution.