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Privacy in Banking

As I walked out of where I bank late last night, I couldn’t help but notice a computer monitor in one bank employee’s office glowing as if to offer me a little light to show me the way to my car. As I peered at the monitor wondering who would waste electricity in a time where all corporations are supposed to be “green”, I couldn’t help but notice the bank employee had left client information on their screen and upon further inspection… loan applications lay scattered across their desk.

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It being dark out now, no wonder the light was on in the employees office. As well, the blinds were in the up position allowing a full view of this persons office to which I could tell what they had for lunch, memos they wrote on sticky notes and of course – the personal information left on their computer monitor.

As a person who banks privately I shuddered to think of the carelessness of this employee and that the need to go home must have inadvertently caused them to forgo the protection of their clients. Imagine if an identity thief were to be given complete access to a persons personal and private financial information… now think for a moment what an identity thief could do with this information. How easy did this bank employee make it for an identity thief to ply their trade?

As a passerby, I could easily have spent several minutes writing down the banking client’s address, social security number, age, date of birth, etc etc etc . All due to a careless employee handling the very privacy they claim to offer. I can’t think for a moment what this employee would do if he were informed he was ordered to post their personal private financial information on a billboard.

Shaking my head I walked to my car just a few steps away and began to place a call to the bank… but then thought twice. My paranoia sinking in… what would happen if someone was able to get the information and use it – here I am making a phone call about it. But civic duty be damned… I left a note for the cleaning crew on the inside door to “Please close all blinds”. I also opted to return in the morning to chat with the manager; which I did.

The manager appeared as if he couldn’t care less. I was dumbfounded. After I told him what I saw the manager of course, apologized and assured me it would not happen again. But the way in which the manager spoke impressed upon me that he believed it was not a big deal. I wish I had written down the phone number of the person on the screen and form – I am sure they would think it was a big deal.

Does this happen often in other banks or other financial institutions? Unsure, but at my new bank (yes I left that other branch) I asked the manager about this problem.. he hadn’t thought of advising employees to close blinds and turn off monitors… if you want more information about banking privately visit the link below.

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