Citigroup loses 3.9 million customers' data

Lost in transit...

Lost in transit...

Citigroup is apologising to 3.9 million customers for losing their personal data.

The banking firm has written to customers whose information was stored on computer tapes that were lost last month by courier UPS in transit to a credit office.

Kevin Kessinger, Citigroup's president of consumer finance in North America, said: "We deeply regret this incident, which occurred in spite of the enhanced security procedures we require of our couriers.

"There is little risk of the accounts being compromised because customers have already received their loans, and no additional credit may be obtained from CitiFinancial without prior approval of our customers, either by initiating a new application or by providing positive proof of identification. Beginning in July, this data will be sent electronically in encrypted form."

The tapes contained US customer data from CitiFinancial branch network operations and CitiFinancial Retail Services. The company said the tapes did not contain information from CitiFinancial Auto, CitiFinancial Mortgage or any other Citigroup business.

The company also believes the data has not been compromised and that none of the tapes contained details of CitiFinancial network customers in Canada or Puerto Rico.

"We are making every effort to ensure that our customers are aware of what we are doing and what we suggest they do to protect their identity. We are committed to ensuring that our customers have the support they need to monitor their credit and know how to respond should they identify any problems," added Kessinger.

Last week, the Japanese arm of investment firm UBS apologised for losing a hard disk that contained confidential data of 15,500 customers.