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Bank Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

By Jo Greenwood. Last Updated 29th June 2023. If your personal data is exposed through a bank data breach the company could receive a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You may also be due compensation for the breach if it is caused by wrongful conduct and causes you emotional or financial harm.

Bank data breach claims guide

Bank data breach claims guide

All organisations in the UK must implement the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). We will explain these legislations in further detail later on in this guide.

Our advisors can help if you’re unsure whether or not you are eligible to claim. When you get in touch, our team can offer a free consultation, where they can answer your questions and give you free legal advice. To get started:

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Am I Eligible To Receive Compensation From A Bank For A Data Breach?

To be able to make a claim for compensation from a bank for a data breach, your case would have to meet the eligibility criteria set out below.

  1. Your personal data must have been involved in the breach.
  2. The breach must have been caused by the organisation’s failings.
  3. Due to the personal data breach, you suffered monetary losses or mental harm.

Personal data is any information that could directly identify you, or identify you in combination with other information. Your name, national insurance number, and banking details are some examples of personal data.

Any organisation that processes your personal data, such as your bank, must adhere to the regulations and rules set out by the UK GDPR and the DPA 2018, as together, these make up data protection laws. Per data protection laws, your bank must take all the necessary steps to protect your personal data. Failure to adhere to data protection laws could result in a personal data breach.

A personal data breach is a security incident that affects the availability, integrity or confidentiality of your personal data. Later in this guide, we will provide examples of how a bank data breach compromising your personal data could occur.

If you’re not sure whether you could be eligible to make a personal data breach claim, you can contact our advisors. They can offer you free advice and answer any questions you may have about claims being made for bank data breaches.

Time Limits For Making A Data Breach Claim

In the UK there is a time limit on making a data breach compensation claim.

  • The time limit of making a data breach compensation claim is 6 years.
  • If you have been affected by a data breach that violated your human rights, the time limit to make a compensation claim is 1 year.

What Is A Bank Data Protection Breach?

It is normal for businesses to collect, process and store personal data from key stakeholders, such as customers and employers. Doing so is normally essential to the operation of the business. Businesses are required by law to protect and not misuse the personal data they collect. What is considered a data breach? A data breach is when the business fails to protect the data they use. This means that personal data such as names, addresses and email addresses can be accessed by unauthorised persons or stolen.

The following data security incidents are types of data breaches:

  • Data exposure.
  • The loss, alteration or erased data accidentally or deliberately
  • Data theft.
  • An unauthorised party getting access to personal data.
  • Data leaks.

People who have been affected by a data breach are more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Bank data breaches and bank account data breaches are particularly sensitive because criminals could potentially gain access to customer’s banking details. Enabling them to access customer’s bank accounts and steal from them.

How do data breaches happen? Data breaches could happen for a number of reasons. Firstly they could occur due to hackers or cyberattacks. Secondly, bank data breaches could also happen because of errors made by an employee. For example, a bank employee could make a mistake and send a letter intended for one customer to another. Accidentally sharing their personal data with unauthorised persons. We will look at more data breach examples, later in this guide. Banks can avoid data breaches by ensuring that rigorous data security measures are put in place. And the staff are properly trained in data security.

How Could A Bank Data Breach Occur?

In this section, we want to discuss how bank data breaches may happen. In order to do this, we’ll go through some examples. Whilst a breach of data protection can happen as a result of cyber criminals hacking data or through malware threats, we want to focus on scenarios where a human error could have occurred.

Below we have listed how a potential bank accounts data breach could happen:

  • Your bank may accidentally send a mass email out to customers. However, instead of using the BCC function, the CC tool is used, meaning a group email data breach occurs, and all recipients will be able to see each other’s email addresses and names.
  • A letter containing your bank account information, including your sort code and account number, may be sent to the wrong address. This is despite your bank having your correct details on file.
  • If a bank employee loses a device containing your personal data, such as their work laptop, your information could be accessed by an unauthorised person.

Continue reading to find out what compensation for a data breach you could be owed. Our advisors are available 24/7 to chat about your situation if you seek more specific information.

Do I Need Evidence To Claim Compensation From A Bank?

In order to build a strong case and successfully claim compensation from a bank for a personal data breach, you must be able to prove that their wrongful conduct caused the breach and that the breach caused you harm. To do so, you can collect evidence.

Evidence can help support a number of different areas of your claim, ranging from the mental or financial harm you’ve suffered as a result of the breach to how the breach occurred and who is at fault. Some examples of evidence that you could collect to help strengthen your claim include:

  •   The findings from an ICO investigation: If you decide to report the breach to the ICO, and they choose to investigate it, their findings could be used as evidence in your claim.
  •   Letter of notification: If the bank sends you a letter or email of notification with information on the breach and what data was affected, this could later be used as evidence.
  •   Medical records: Your medical records may detail the extent of the mental harm you suffered as a result of the breach and any treatment you may need going forwards.
  •   Bank statements: Your bank statement, credit report, or other financial documents that illustrate the financial harm you have suffered.

If you choose to work with a solicitor on your personal data breach claim, they can help you collect this evidence and ensure that all areas of your claim are covered.

Read on to learn more about claiming after a personal data breach caused by a bank, and compensation amounts for successful claimants, or get in touch for more information.

Bank Data Breach – What Can I Be Compensated For?

If your personal data was included in a bank data breach, you may wish to know about data breach at a bank compensation amounts.

Due to a Court of Appeal ruling in the case of Vidal-Hall and Others v. Google Inc (2015), the way you can claim data breach compensation has changed. Before this ruling, if your personal data was included in a bank data breach, you needed to be eligible to claim for financial harm to make a claim for emotional distress. Now, however, personal data breach at a bank claims can be made for mental harm without including financial harm in the same claim.

Personal data breach at a bank compensation amounts could include two heads of claim. These are:

  • Non-material damage to compensate for harm to your mental health. In the next section, we provide examples of what you could be compensated for under non-material damage.
  • Material damage to help recover any financial losses caused by the data breach. For example, if the data breach resulted in fraudulent purchases from your account. However, you must be able to prove your losses, such as by presenting bank statements.

Call our advisors for a free evaluation of your claim if your personal data was included in a bank data breach.

Calculating Bank Data Breach Compensation Payouts

As discussed in the prior section, compensation that might be awarded in data breach claims can be divided into material and non-material damage. However, in this section, we want to focus on settlements you may receive in terms of non-material damage caused by a bank data breach.

Following a breach of data protection, you could suffer psychological injuries such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you have been affected by a personal data breach caused by a bank, compensation amounts can be valued in line with figures featured in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

Although the JCG features settlement ranges relating to personal injury claims, following Gulati and Others V MGN Limited (2015), it was ruled that non-material damage can be valued similarly to how psychological injuries are in a personal injury claim. Therefore, we have taken figures from the JCG, updated in April 2022, to give you an insight into the award you might receive.

Injury And SeverityDetails Of The InjurySettlement Estimate
Psychiatric Damage Generally - SevereThe compensation will be calculated based on the degree to which the claimant has been affected. The claimant may have significant problems with work, relationships and general life. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychiatric Damage Generally - Moderately SevereThe compensation will be calculated based on how well the claimant could deal with education, work and life in general.£19,070 to £54,830
Psychiatric Damage Generally - ModerateThe claimant has experienced improvements after difficulties coping with life and in relationships. Overall, the prognosis is positive. £5,860 to £19,070
Psychiatric Damage Generally - Less SevereCompensation will consider what extent that daily living and sleep were impacted. £1,540 to £5,860
PTSD - SeverePTSD which is severe may leave the claimant unable to work or function at a level pre-trauma. £59,860 to £100,670
PTSD - Moderately SevereSignificant disability for the foreseeable future however the prognosis may be good with professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
PTSD - ModerateClaimants should largely be recovered. With minor continuing symptoms.£8,180 to £23,150
PTSD - Less SevereClaimants should recovery within one - two years.£3,950 to £8,180

It’s worth noting that the figures above are intended to be used as guidelines only. A data breach solicitor will also assess any material damage you may have suffered before valuing your bank data breach claim. Get in touch if you would like one of our expert specialist solicitors to assess your claim.

How Can Data Breach Solicitors Help Me?

Following a personal data breach, you might seek to work with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor from our panel to help you prepare a claim. Under this type of agreement, you typically won’t be required to pay an upfront fee for a solicitor to begin working on your case.

Additionally, you’ll only pay a legally capped success fee to your solicitor if they are able to help you secure compensation. If your claim fails, you won’t need to pay your solicitor.

Speak to an advisor at any time for free to further discuss bank claims after a data breach.

Contact Our Team

To claim compensation for a bank data protection breach, contact Legal Expert today using any of these methods:

Related Information On Data Breaches

To conclude, we hope this article has been helpful for you. If you want to make a data breach claim but still have lingering questions you may want to check these online guides.

External Resources

Thank you for reading our guide on what to do after a bank data breach affects your personal data.

Written By Chelache

Edited By Melissa.

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      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.