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  1. Wealth
March 11, 2010

WBull: HSBC apologises for data theft

By Spear's

HSBC Holding PLC’s Swiss private bank on Thursday issued a public apology to its clients for the theft of 15,000 sets of client data, allegedly by Herve Falciani, a former employee who had access to client names.

HSBC Holding PLC’s Swiss private bank on Thursday issued a public apology to its clients for the theft of 15,000 sets of client data, allegedly by Herve Falciani, a former employee who had access to client names.

“We deeply regret this situation and unreservedly apologize to our clients for this threat to their privacy,” Alexandre Zeller, chief executive of the Swiss unit, told reporters.

The stolen data, which involves accounts opened at HSBC in Switzerland before October 2006, represents a far wider portion of HSBC’s Swiss bank clients—roughly 15%—than the bank originally disclosed when it said in December the data had been stolen. At the time, the bank said it knew of fewer than 10 names potentially affected by the theft.

HSBC said Mr. Falciani, who had been employed for many years in the bank’s information technology department, gained access to the confidential data through work as a technical analyst during a data migration. HSBC alleges that during the migration, Mr. Falciani transferred data from HSBC’s computers to a personal device, and subsequently attempted to shop it to several banks in Lebanon before ultimately fleeing to France.

To read the full story, visit wealthbulletin.com

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