The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Prudential £50,000 after a mix-up over the administration of two customers’ accounts led to tens of thousands of pounds, meant for an individual’s retirement fund, ending up in the wrong account.
The original error was caused when the records of both customers, who share the same first name, surname and date of birth, were mistakenly merged in March 2007.
The accounts remained confused for more than three years despite Prudential being alerted to the mistake on several occasions, including a letter from one of the customers in late April 2010 which clearly indicated his address had not changed for over 15 years.
The ICO’s head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, comments: “This case would be considered farcical were it not for the serious sums of money involved.”
The fine is the first to be handed down by the ICO that doesn’t relate to data loss.