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AIBU about data about me?

(9 Posts)
notabankersmum Fri 30-Sep-11 14:15:46

This morning I had the oddest experience at the bank, and I'm not sure if IWBU or not.

Basically, DH and I have a joint account that I've been meaning to close for years; done.

After closing it as a passing remark to the cashier as I got my receipt, I asked if they would remove most of the data about the account from the systems... right? (I didn't say it, but I basically don't want to continue to get email spam from them, and I don't really want e.g. to be approached in a year with promotional material saying to come back to them, which I think is quite a normal desire?).

I clarified this because she didn't seem to understand my question i.e. do they retain data that is over and above the legal requirement (they have to keep some records for 6 years, legally, I just don't know the details of what type of data, since I don't work in a bank smile)... and if the answer is yes, can I ask for those "optional" bits of data to be deleted, please?

The cashier had no idea what data was retained about the account once it's closed. She offered to clarify it with the branch manager; manager didn't know either. She suggested I give Customer Services a call - so I did from her branch phone. They didn't know, but the lady on the other end did say not to worry about my query because "only people within the bank can access it"; I explained that wasn't really answering my question. She gave me the number of the data protection team at the bank; the woman that picked up the phone didn't know either. She passed me to her supervisor She had no idea what data was retained, or if i had the option to request some of the non-legally-required stuff to be deleted. She went away to ask someone else; after 23 minutes on hold, I hung up and walked out of the branch.

AIBU to:

1) Ask this sort of thing when I close a bank account? It was an off the cuff remark but I actually got concerned about their level of cluelessness the more no one seemed able to answer myquestion.

2) Ask if anyone here knows what the answer is? I still seem to be able to log into internet banking, for example. I assume there is something in their IT systems that will just clean up my account and close it off... I mean, doesn't it impact your credit score if you've got lots of dormant accounts which haven't properly been closed?!

notabankersmum Fri 30-Sep-11 14:17:20

oh, and 3) Surely someone, somewhere, at a national bank should know the answer to this sort of query, or am I expecting too much?!

MothInMyKecks Fri 30-Sep-11 14:18:18

It's a good question, and very relevant I say - especially in light of so much internet fraud. I'm not sure I would have persevered with it, but all power to you for asking. I'd like to know the answer too.

MothInMyKecks Fri 30-Sep-11 14:20:02

Someone should know the answer, I agree. It's bordering on pathetic that you were passed on and on until you were put 'on hold' (and that's in inverted comma's 'cos I'm a tad suspicious about that - I reckon no-one knew the answer and were hoping you were eventually going to just go away).

notabankersmum Fri 30-Sep-11 14:21:43

Oh and btw, the 2nd supervisor woman on the other end of the phone literally said "I don't really understand what you're asking", despite me being fairly articulate IRL and a native English speaker (no regional dialect).

WTF? I had to explain it about 3 or 4 times before she "got" it, before she disappeared off to ask a colleague for 20-odd minutes.

I'd laugh if it wasn't so alarming.

IDrinkFromTheirSkulls Fri 30-Sep-11 14:29:29

When an account is closed it essentially becomes archived, so no amendments can be made to the data, apart from a change of name/address which may get updated simply because most of the time all accounts are linked through this data iyswim? I can't think how to explain that better sorry! If you don't want them to hold the data, you need to ask them to remove it before you close the account.

notabankersmum Fri 30-Sep-11 14:43:56

If you don't want them to hold the data, you need to ask them to remove it before you close the account.

Really? Hmm. No one told me that. Do you work in a bank?

Why wouldn't anyone (at any level) seem to know this stuff?

And will I get my internet banking shut down eventually..? And how can I tie off the email alerts/promotional material I sometimes get..? Will that stop now?

notabankersmum Fri 30-Sep-11 15:11:02

I've just written a formal letter of complaint (ok, mostly a cut down copy/paste from here for speed alongside dates/time and account number) and will see what they say - i wonder if anyone in their complaints dept can get hold of anyone that has any idea.

i'll post back if they have a decent answer MothInMyKecks.

whackamole Fri 30-Sep-11 15:16:26

PM me if you want - I work in a bank although I'd rather not say which one!

At my work ALL employees have to do data retention training as it is a very hot topic. The bank can be sued for keeping data for too long.

In a nutshell though, your details will be retained for 6 years. Your name, address, DOB etc - all still there. Partly this is because yes they may want to contact you about coming back - although you can ask them to put contact suppressions on to stop this - partly this is because you would be amazed the amount of people that ask for a statement from donkey's years ago to check that the birthday money Aunty Mabel put in was credited.

Also, if it is my bank I would call rather than write. Letter can go missing, at least on the phone they will give you a reference immediately which you can follow up if you need to.

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