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Nationwide Data Protection Breach Nightmare!

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Hi everyone,


Im hoping for some advice from you all with the situation I find myself in.


After sending a Subject Access Request to the Nationwide Building Society, they sent me through pages and pages relating to 132 different Nationwide Customers and their financial details.


This included their credit card numbers, account numbers, sort codes.


I brought this to the immediate attention of the ICO and the Nationwide, as they have been causing me much heartache over some accounts I have with them and refuse to deal with me correctly or with any respect. I am in extreme financial hardship, they refuse to accept my reduced payments (of all I can afford) and refuse to acknowledge I am a Hardship case due to the previous good handling and spending on my account before I defaulted!


The Nationwide responded with an immediate offer of £250 for my inconvenience and any problems they may have caused. They wanted the documents back immediately and wanted to send someone to my door to collect these.


I pointed out that as they had been threatening me with doorstep collectors for several months, it might be a mistake to send a strange person to my door, asking for me and pertaining to having been sent from the Nationwide, to whom I would then hand over these documents and perhaps create a second and more costly breach of Data protection.


I thought it best to meet in a Branch of the Nationwide with a member of staff and asked for any offers or arrangements to be put in writing.


The Nationwide in their considered response to me, left it 4 days before putting anything in writing. Their Head of Security for the UK and A Senior member of the Collections team wanted to meet with me, to not only hand over these documents, but also to discuss my accounts. During the first phone call, they referred to 'getting my accounts back on track'.


Since that time I have taken advice from various sources with regards the best way forwards with this information. It was suggested that perhaps I could sell my story about this to the press. In my current circumstances, this would be extremely tempting as I am sure many of you would understand and appreciate. However, I was very clear and had it confirmed that I should never divulge any specific personal information about any of these Nationwide Customers.


I did make it clear to them that I felt their offer of £250 was a derisory one given the circumstances they have placed me in. I also stated that was a drop in the ocean beside the amount of unsecured money they have been hounding me for - tooth and nail - for the last number of months, at times threatening the roof over my familes heads.


They have even called off their DCA dogs until this gets resolved - such is the importance of these documents.


Since then, the Nationwide have made it clear that they would not wish to 'hush up' this information and that all customers affected have been contacted and offered fraud monitoring services. As one of the customers on these lists, I have yet to be contacted about the breach of my personal information, nor have they offered me any fraud monitoring services, nor have they confirmed if my information has been sent elsewhere.


The Nationwide call this a 'Human error'.


The ICO recently made contact with me by e-mail, and an officer made it clear to me that it had been suggested to them by the Nationwide that I had made 'demands for money' and that I had made references to leaking these documents to the press. With that in mind, they were considering a court order to get these documents returned and I was advised to make the ICO aware of my legal representation.


I never made any such demands or sweeping statements about releasing this sensitive information. I did say that their offer was poor and badly considered given my current dilemma, I did say that the Media would have a field day with the knowledge of another Nationwide DP breach and I did say that it would be valuable to them to know about this.


To me the e-mail seemed quite threatening towards me, not what I expected from the ICO as I am not the guilty party. The references to me making demands also appeared libellous and I have asked for confirmation of where these comments came from. I today had that person confirmed to me by name.


They also stated that they had no powers to prosecute or bring any prosecutions to the Nationwide.


I should point out that it took the Nationwide 8 days to contact me formally and arrange a suitable meeting, even though I made it clear during our very first phonecall when I would be available to sort this out.


Due to one of these gentlemen being out of the country at present, a new meeting has been arranged for Monday of next week.


They have received my claim for unlawful bank charges and have stated that these will be discussed during our meeting.


I am speaking about this to get a broad idea of practical advice about how I should approach this meeting. I have received some very good information to date, but believe that more will come of this incident than just a closed meeting behind Nationwide doors and I would appreciate your thoughts and support at this time.



Edited by nextmovewins
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This is happening all the time re: data and always the same olkd excuse;

Human Error;

System Error;

Administrative Error;

Oversight etc...


Not good enough Nationwide!


If it were me, I would take your story pronto to the 'Press',

get it into the Sunday papers.



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Being the kinda person I am I would go stright to the Sun and let the press have a field day over it, im pretty sure you could cover your backside doing this somehow, but god they deserve all the bad press they can get for that. And if you can gain a little capital out of it well then why not


Im sure once it's in the public domain it would give you some immunity over them taking you to court over it, it wpould just generate even more bad press

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I think for your own sake you should deal with your accounts and the documents received as 2 entirely separate issues. If you haven't handed them back, arrange to do so at a branch immediately. Nationwide are hounds when it comes to pursuing debts and will litigate at the drop of a hat. They are more likely to be willing to negotiate with you if they have their documents returned.

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I have asked site team to look at it. The initial approach you took was absolutely right, ie to go to a branch and return the data. However, it can be seen by not agreeing to its return and asking for more money than they have offered that you could be blackmailing them. If you went to the press, your "window of opportunity" has now passed where any positive slant on this can be made especially as clearly Nationwide have painted a picture to the ICO which shows you to be unreasonable by demanding money for a human error in sending the data out to you.


FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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Hi Yourbank,


I'll just make it clear - I didn't demand money - this was offered, unprovoked, by a senior member of HO staff when they contacted me, after I'd lodged my complaint with the ICO, so I was not trying to 'blackmail' anyone, otherwise I'd have kept the details to myself and not put them on a public forum.


I haven't refused to hand the documents back, just refused to allow someone to come to my door, which I don't think is unreasonable considering I'm being threatened with CCJ, charging order and people calling to my door by NW/KPR.

Edited by nextmovewins
foot in mouth syndrome...sorry
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Human error, always human error!?


I believe that there is also a morality issue here, which is apart from any possible compensation.

Nationwide have stated that they will inform all customers who have been affected.

But, what about all of their other customers, who believe that their data is safe?


yourbank, this is not a question of attempting to blackmail Nationwide, it is the 'Right' of ALL their customers to, KNOW.



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Of course, the documents must be returned safely, that is without question.

The point is, if the docs. had fallen into the wrong hands, goodness knows what could happen.


This is just not on!

Nationwide need to be open about this matter.



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Hi Nextmovewins,


First, Welcome to the Consumer Action Group !


I'll just make it clear - I didn't demand money - this was offered, unprovoked, by a senior member of HO staff when they contacted me, after I'd lodged my complaint with the Information Commissioners Office, so I was not trying to 'blackmail' anyone, otherwise I'd have kept the details to myself and not put them on a public forum.


Agreed, You have handled this very well.


You say you in Hardship, are you claiming any charges back you may have on your accounts with Nationwide and if so what stage are you up too ??


I haven't refused to hand the documents back, just refused to allow someone to come to my door, which I don't think is unreasonable considering I'm being threatened with CCJ, charging order and people calling to my door by NW/KPR.


Also agreed, this is their error and the onus is on them to rectify it. You brought it to their attention in the first place.


I'll flag this for some of the senior members of the team.



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Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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