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Breach of Confidentiality?


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This isn't about a claim but I thought I'd better put it in the HSBC forum as it concerns them.

 

I applied for a Basic Account with HSBC. Not only did they get funny about the charges they noticed on my NatWest statement which I showed them for id purposes, telling me the application would need to be 'referred' because of them (that's out of order anyway, isn't it? Surely sight of statement is purely for id purposes and they are supposed to do a credit reference check to decide if the application should be accepted?), but they phoned to ask me for a second look at my passport. Quite apart from any question about why that should be necessary (don't they trust their photocopier?), they spoke to my partner and disclosed that the call was about an account application, the account was being set up and the bit about wanting to see my passport again. Surely this breaches some kind of rule about confidentiality. Anyone got any experience of similar and what did you do about it? :eek:

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Hmmm - it all sounds fishy, but the bit about speaking to your partner is in direct contravention of the DPA. Even if your partner is your wife, even if the bank knows this, and even if you have given authorisation (apart from acting as advocate in case of disability) - the bank is still not allowed to discuss details of your account with your partner...

 

I suppose it is too much to expect that the call was recorded...

Alecto, Magaera et Tisiphone: Nemesis on Earth is come.

 

All advice and opinions given by Spiceskull are personal, and are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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No it wasn;t recorded. Pity. I suppose I could write to them asking them to verify what they said in their telephone call to my partner and, of course, she could confirm it all but they would probably argue that she's lying.

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Well, you could write along the lines of:

 

"...further to my conversation with you on [DATE], and your subsequent conversation with my partner on [DATE]...the points are X, Y and Z..."

 

You never know, they might slip up and put the conversation in writing...give it a shot.

Alecto, Magaera et Tisiphone: Nemesis on Earth is come.

 

All advice and opinions given by Spiceskull are personal, and are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Just wondering, what do I do if they do slip up and admit it? Haven't got an account yet so no charges to claim back. Sue them for breach of confidentiality? I think that makes me as bad as the banks are, just trying to cream whatever I can out of them. I know it's probably no less than they deserve but I'd be happy with a simple apology.

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Haven't got an account yet so no charges to claim back. Sue them for breach of confidentiality?
That is not really the point. In applying for an account you will have provided the bank with certain personal details. I managing/controlling these details the bank is subject to the DPA, and the very strict rules regarding the dissemination of those details. Sharing, or even verifying, the details with an unauthorised third party is strictly against those rules.

 

For that reason alone I would not proceed with opening the account with the bank...However, if you can get written confirmation that this series of events took place, then that would definitely need raising with the Information Commissioner.

 

Personally I think you should write that letter, if only to get a written rebuttal of the events. Anything more than the rebuttal is a bonus...:roll:

Alecto, Magaera et Tisiphone: Nemesis on Earth is come.

 

All advice and opinions given by Spiceskull are personal, and are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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  • 10 months later...

Time for an update. This account was mysteriously opened without any further requests for second sight of id etc and I decided to use it and overlook the transgression. Everything's been fine until a couple of dds were presented and returned (my fault - extra funds went out) but I paid money into the account to cover it and all was ok - until last week. They sent me a letter saying they were closing the account because of one of these returned. I wrote to them telling them I was disappointed, inclduing the following paragraph:-

 

I think that, in view of the fact that somebody from the bank phoned my partner and divulged confidential information before the account was open, a serious breach which I chose not to follow up, you might exercise the same leniency as I did at the time.

 

It will be interesting to see what they have to say about that - absolute denial I expect, but my partner remembers it all very well. Anyway, I'm taking steps to open another account elsewhere just in case.

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Guest NATTIE

Why are they closing the account because of 1 returned item on the account, that is a bit odd. In relation to the first bit, as i missed the thread the first time, on a technicality the answer is yes re dpa breach unless your partner was aware of the new account being opened. The reason being is say you had a joint account, and you may have had extra curricular activity with someone else and was planning to leave her, the fact that you were opening another account elsewhere, could have lead to suspicions. Ok, i know this was not the case but depending on circumstances then yes a breach may have happened. However, account closure based on 1 oversight is a bit harsh to say the least

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Actually, there were a couple of previous returns but I sorted them the same day. I did get a letter threatening to close the account if anything else was returned and, fair enough, it was. My point is, if they don't meet me half way I might reopen the point about confidentiality breach just to be awkward. Stuff 'em.

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  • 1 month later...

If it we me...I'd have em hung drawn and quartered, then the bits burned, boiled and then I'd jump up and down on them until I couple think of something more horrible to do with them.

 

With that out of the way, I'd play a game of wait and see. IF they close it then go after them on the breach, if not, save it as further ammo for a later date :)

DCA's - they have the same power as an infinite number of untrained chimps working on a script for Hamlet, but the chimps would probably at least get it right :D

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Here's the letter going to HSBC informing them of my intention to lodge a formal complaint:-

'Dear Bungling Incompetents (not really)

As I have had no response from my previous letter and as the bank has seen fit to close my account despite all I have no alternative but to lodge an official complaint regarding the serious breach of confidentiality whereby somebody from the branch telephoned my home and, without asking for any form of id and despite the fact that it was a woman’s voice on the phone, divulged information to my partner in the form of telling her that I was opening a bank account and they needed to have sight of my id.

I decided to let this pass at the time but as you have stuck to the letter with regard to closing my account I feel it only fair to return the favour by reporting this breach to the relevant authority. My partner will verify that she received the call if and when it becomes necessary.

In the meantime I would be obliged if you would let me know what the bank intends to do by way of apology for this totally unprofessional behaviour.'

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Nothing yet - although I called at the branch yesterday to collect the money left in the account when it was closed as was told that my account had, in fact, been 'upgraded' to a savings account and there was around twelve quid in there. No comms in response to my letter however.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The expected letter arrived telling me about their 'full review of branch records' which revelaed no record of any such call and how they follow strict guidelines and so forth. They are confident that correct preocedures were followed and there was no breach of security. Cobblers! They hope that the matter has been rsolved to my satisfaction (presumably by them telling lies - Yeah, right!)

 

Here's a copy of what I'm going to send by way of reply. Any comments very welcome:-

 

'Thank you for your reply to my letter of ** ** ****. I appreciate that you have investigated the matter but I’m afraid that it is simply not good enough.

How the matter can be resolved to my satisfaction when you have completely denied what happened and virtually branded my partner and I liars I cannot begin to imagine.

When I applied for my account it was a spur of the moment decision and I told nobody, except, obviously, the person I spoke to at the branch, that I was opening an account. Can you explain, then why it was that I arrived home to be told by my partner that HSBC wanted to see further evidence of my ID in order to continue with my application. She does not have a crystal ball and, although she has watched the occasional episode of Most Haunted, I don’t believe enough of it has rubbed off on her to explain such a phenomenon.

We cannot be held responsible for the inadequacies of your procedures and record keeping. Please indicate what you intend to do by way of apology for this transgression within 14 days or I shall report the matter to the Information Commissioner.

I am aware that this is the word of two ordinary people against a large ‘respectable’ corporation but I have no intention of letting it drop. I am not after any financial gain. I merely want an apology for 1) Your breach of confidentiality and 2) Your implication that we are liars.

Yours faithfully...'

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  • 11 years later...

This topic was closed on 10 March 2019.

If you have a problem which is similar to the issues raised in this topic, then please start a new thread and you will get help and support there.

If you would like to post up some information which is relevant to this particular topic then please flag the issue up to the site team and the thread will be reopened.

- Consumer Action Group

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