ABSA's new logo. (Photo: Supplied)
  • An Absa employee illegally accessed client information and gave it to third parties.
  • In an email to affected clients, Absa said their identity numbers, description of financed vehicles, addresses and contact details have been shared.
  • Absa says the information was most likely used for telemarketing. 
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Some Absa clients have been informed that their personal information has been accessed and shared by a bank employee.

In a letter to some customers, clients are alerted that the information includes their identity number, description of a financed vehicle, address and contact details. 

"Based on our investigation we have reason to believe that the data was intended for telemarketing purposes," Absa told the clients in an email on Tuesday. 

A bank spokesperson told Business Insider that a staff member of the bank shared the client information with "a small number of external parties".

It has been contacting affected Absa clients directly, and has increased monitoring of their accounts.

Following the discovery, Absa obtained court orders for search and seizure operations at “various premises”. All devices containing the data have been found, the bank said. The data on these devices was subsequently destroyed.

Absa has brought criminal charges against the employee, and says it launched “the requisite consequence management” in response to the data leak.

“Absa may take further action in relation to the recipients of the data once the full scope of the leak is identified and all investigations are completed.”

Absa has put in place additional control measures to prevent future data leaks. 

In August, the personal details of some 24 million South Africans, and nearly 800,000 businesses, were stolen by a suspected fraudster, in one of the South Africa's largest ever data breaches.

The information was allegedly stolen from the credit bureau Experian, which collects credit information about consumers from banks, retailers, and other parties. According to Experian, the information was handed over to the fraudster after that individual posed as a legitimate client.

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