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Major bank confirms it lost nearly 20 million customers’ details

Australia’s largest lender has confirmed the loss of nearly 20 million customers’ financial statements in 2016, with punters betting on whether a rebrand to ‘Con Bank’ is in the works.

According to Sportsbet, the odds of the Commonwealth Bank renaming itself 'Con Bank' are at $501, following last night’s revelations that the personal financial histories of 19.8 million customer accounts were involved in a loss of data in 2016.

In a statement this morning, the bank confirmed media reports alleging the bank was unable to verify that scheduled destruction of magnetic tapes containing historical customer data had actually occurred. The destruction was to be performed by a supplier.

The two tapes held names, addresses, account numbers and transaction details. However, the bank said the tapes did not include passwords or PINs and there is “no evidence” that customer information has been compromised.


The bank ordered an independent investigation from KPMG which found the tapes were most-likely disposed of and alerted the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

However, the bank only went public with the confirmation following a Buzzfeed report released on Tuesday.

The acting group executive of retail banking services, Angus Sullivan told customers there was no need to take specific action like changing passwords or pins.

“We take the protection of customer data very seriously and incidents like this are not acceptable. I want to assure our customers that we have taken the steps necessary to protect their information and we apologise for any concern this incident may cause.”

He noted that the bank made a decision not to tell customers about the breach, following the OAIC deciding it would not take any further action.

“We have however been contacted by the OAIC this week for additional information about this matter and the actions CBA undertook in 2016.”

The revelations follow the release of APRA’s report on the inquiry into the bank. The report found that the bank had been lulled into a false sense of security when it came to non-financial risks.

Sportsbet is also putting the odds of current CommBank CEO Matt Comyn resigning by the end of May at $5.00.

The former CEO Ian Narev departed the bank following allegations that the bank had breached numerous anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations.

More recently, the bank has been in the firing line following revelations made at the royal commission that it had been charging fees to dead customers.

Major bank confirms it lost nearly 20 million customers’ details
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