I always thought my correspondence with my bank was supposed to be private. Someone in St Kitts has just sent me the most extraordinary bit of correspondence. It showed that some of our banks are not very sophisticated or cautious how they deal with their customers’ confidential correspondence. My correspondent had sent the Caribbean Commercial Bank an enquiry about banking procedures in
I decided to contact CCB myself. I went to their contact page. I filled out their enquiry form. I asked them to send me the requirements to open a bank account. Sure enough, I got an email similar to the one my correspondent had got. This is what it said:
Sent: Sunday, January 11, 2009 4:57 PM
Subject: Contact Us
Name: Don Mitchell
Phone Number: 497 2139
Comments: Please let me know the requirements for opening a bank account.
So, what’s special, you ask? Well, if you look carefully, you will see that, besides Trevor Woodley, the bank computer’s automatic response has been copied to Chris Mason. Now, I know Chris Mason. He is a perfectly respectable project manager. One of my last meetings with him was when he was managing Altamer Hotel’s new project to expand into the
But, what in the world does Chris Mason have to do with having copies of confidential banking correspondence sent to him by a bank? Why would a bank set up its enquiry page so that every piece of correspondence sent to it is automatically copied to someone who has nothing to do with the correspondence of the bank’s customers?
Is this in compliance with CCB’s confidentiality obligations?
Now, I do all my banking at the National Bank of Anguilla. Does NBA make the same mistake, I wondered?
So, I went to the NBA website. I found their contact page. I checked it thoroughly. I was relieved to find that it did not have a form that would automatically get sent to anyone outside the bank. It seems that with NBA you have to personally email or telephone an individual at the bank with your enquiry. What a relief!
I would urge the CCB Board to have their website tightened up. I do not think that customers, or potential customers, for that matter, should have their confidential queries sent to any person, no matter how respectable, outside of the bank.
Now, having made the enquiry, I’m wondering if the bank is going to efficiently respond to it.