Britain’s biggest insurance company has apologised to thousands of customers after confidential information about their finances was sent to the wrong people. The blunder by Aviva has led to policyholders receiving details of other people’s pension plans. Aviva has now asked customers to destroy or return the misdirected letters, which reveal sensitive data such as the annual bonus paid out on each policy and the amount that the individual can expect to receive on retirement.
But the mistake raises questions about data protection, particularly as the financial statements include information that could be of use to identity thieves, such as policy numbers and dates of birth. Aviva, which used to be known as Norwich Union and has 19 million customers in the UK, has been forced to ask customers to ‘confidentially destroy’ the statements. A letter of apology, signed by the company’s ‘Customer Experience Director’ Hugh Hessing, has been sent to all those affected by the fiasco and arrived at thousands of homes yesterday. Mr Hessing writes: ‘We have recently issued annual bonus statements for the type of pension policy you have with us.