Clydesdale Bank customers may have missed out on an estimated £200,000 in payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation, after concerns were raised that the bank has deleted historic customer data.
Following a number of demands for information on customers dating back to the mid 90s, Clydesdale has claimed that it is only required to “hold relevant documentation for up to a period of six years”, according to the Herald Scotland.
The bank said that deletion of historic data was justified by the terms of the Data Protection Act, with customer information not needing to be kept longer than is necessary.
PPI claims management specialist Beat The Banks, which has made more than 100 claims to the bank, complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office that all other major banks apart from Clydesdale have disclosed customer information dating back at least 15 years.
Beat The Banks founder Mike Begg, who formerly worked as a Clydesdale banker, commented that it has been possible to obtain records for RBS, Lloyds and Nationwide going back to 1995, and 1998 with HBOS.
“If the bank has the information, it has to give it to you, it can't withhold it,” he said, adding that his organisation estimates that the bank has managed to avoid paying out £200,000 due to a lack of data disclosure.
However, Begg believes that it is “impossible” for the bank to have deleted all of its records dating back more than six years, and cited examples of how the bank has provided information in certain instances.
House of Commons Treasury Select Committee member Stewart Hosie wants to investigate the issue. The Scottish National Party MP said he was concerned about lack of action from regulators.
The ICO has claimed that it is only able to look at the claims on a case by case basis.
A second claims company the Payment Protection Partnership, says it knows of 450 people who have brought compensation claims against Clydesdale but have been refused on the grounds that information has been deleted under the Data Protection Act.
Commenting on the concerns, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that the bank has a duty to address a customer’s complaint dating back a number of years, no matter what its data retention policy is.
Clydesdale said it is now “in the process of reviewing our PPI complaint handling policy”.
The Scottish bank was recently fined £8.9 million for mistreatment of mortgage customers, after a software glitch resulted in the bank miscalculating repayments on thousands of mortgages.