Broker Received Passwords from Westpac Employee

Broker Received Passwords from Westpac Employee

Australian banks have made headlines once again with reports that a former employee shared customer information with a mortgage broker. According to news from the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), a manager at Westpac bank shared customers’ banking passwords with a mortgage broker, making this serious breach of customer privacy one of 32 breaches among Australia’s four largest banks.

The revelation is one of many security incidents at Westpac. In evidence obtained by 7.30 under Freedom of Information laws, incidents involving the improper handling of information at Westpac extend as far back as 2012 and are as recent as April 2018.

Australian news program 7.30 said that the former Westpac employee Marten Pudun was responsible for sharing the banking passwords of 80 customers to a mortgage broker. 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) effectively banned Pudun in July 2018, preventing him from engaging in credit activities after knowingly or falsely giving fraudulent documents to Westpac in an attempt to benefit his clients, ABC reported.

A Westpac spokeswoman told ABC the bank takes the protection of its data and privacy extremely seriously. "We engage regularly with the OAIC and proactively report certain suspected data breaches," she said.

"When we make mistakes, we make sure we put it right by remediating affected customers, informing all relevant authorities, making process changes to prevent similar incidents, and where necessary, taking disciplinary action against employees who are found to have done the wrong thing in accordance with our Westpac Group Code of Conduct."

Source: Information Security Magazine