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Zürich Insurance hit by record £2.28 million fine

Zürich Insurance, one of the more popular insurance companies in the UK, has today been hit by a £2.28 million fine from the FSA after admitting losing confidential details relating to 46,000 UK customers. This is the largest fine handed it a UK based insurance company and perfectly illustrates the seriousness of the charges which the company has admitted.

It was found that confidential information regarding UK insurance customers was being processed by the company's Zürich South Africa arm and an unencrypted backup tape was lost during transit to the UK. This event happened in August 2008 and due to a lack of acceptable procedures within Zürich Insurance the UK arm did not become aware of the data loss for 12 months. Information held upon the backup tape included customer's full names, full addresses, bank account details and credit card information.

Even though the company has been quick to confirm there have been no instances of criminal activity in relation to the data loss it is a worrying development at a time when UK consumers are more than ever concerned about that their privacy. The company has now taken action to tighten internal systems and ensure security is very much tougher in the future.

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