Nationwide boss downplays security fears

18-11-2006

Nationwide boss downplays security fears
Nationwide account holders do not face losing their money as a result of the recent theft of a company laptop, the building society's chief executive has insisted.

Widespread fears about the security of funds held by Nationwide were sparked when it emerged that a laptop containing customer information had been stolen from the building society three months ago.

Speaking on the Today programme this morning, Philip Williamson insisted that no customers would be affected by the loss of the laptop.

"Our analysis of the situation at the time led us to the conclusion that no customer would lose out as a result of the theft," he said.

"Please remember that there were no pin numbers, no passwords, no account balance information or memorable data relating to any customers, and the stolen laptop was security protected."

Despite these reassurances Mr Williamson was unable to reveal precisely what valuable information was held on the stolen laptop, citing the "strict advice of the police" on this matter.

"We do not believe there is a danger, to the best of our knowledge," he said.

"We've had all the security experts look at this. The customer information on the stolen laptop cannot be used on its own to perpetrate identity theft."

Awareness of the dangers of fraud are growing at present in the UK, with each household losing an average of £655 a year from fraud, totalling at least £16 billion, according to government figures.


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