I popped into my local bank on Friday and whilst waiting in the queue I was shocked at what I overheard.
There was a staff member of the bank on the information desk helping a gentleman. The member of staff was polite and extremely helpful to the gentleman – full marks for customer service. BUT she was extremely loudly spoken – almost shouting while she spoke, she had one of those voices that everyone could hear. Standing in the queue with 2 other people in front I could not help but hear everything she was saying and it was all very clear. The member of staff was obviously speaking to another bank department on the telephone and it was to do with their on-line banking app.
The conversation between the customer and the bank staff was very one way, I could hear the member of staff very clearly yet I couldn’t hear the customer at all.
This is what I overheard and it was VERY loud and clear.
The member of staff was on the telephone explaining to the third-party that the gentleman in front of her has been locked out of his on-line banking the night before. This she said happened at approximately 22.10.
She explained to the third-party that the customer uses this way of banking on a regular basis. She went on to tell the third-party exactly what had happened and what he did as in logging out and trying again, and what app he was using – telling the third-party that he uses this app on a regular basis.
She explained to the third-party that the amount the gentleman was trying to transfer was £6,500 and she made a comment that this was possible why it he was locked out as it was such a large amount. She asked the gentleman exactly what the message had said when this happened. He obviously replied but I couldn’t hear it, but she then proceeded to tell the third-party what the message said.
She asked the gentleman what device he has used, he replied and again I couldn’t hear him, but she then told the third-party that it was an IPad that he had been using for the transaction.
She then proceeded to give the third-party the customers:
First name, surname, address and date of birth.
She then gave the third-party his
Account number, sort code and the account name that he held at the branch.
I was completely gobsmacked.
I wondered if I should say something!!! Should I stop her making this situation worse than it already was. I actually felt uncomfortable standing there listening to this gentleman’s personal details being broadcast for everyone to hear.
There was another member of staff standing just in front of her directing people to the self-service machine and he didn’t once attempt to tell her conversation could be heard and to make it even worse right next to her were 2 empty offices where she could have taken the gentleman ensuring that confidentiality was adhered to throughout the call. She must have known that these questions would have been asked by the third-party.
She then proceeded to ask the gentleman for proof of identification so he gave her his driving licence to which she told the third-party she had and went on to give the third-party his driving license number.
My turn came to do my transaction, again I wondered about saying something to the cashier in front of me, but did I want to cause a fuss as this really wasnt anything to do with me and there were enough members of staff in the bank at that particular time that someone could have said something.
I left the bank, shocked I had been in there about 10 minutes enough time that I heard so much of this gentleman’s personal information. The sad thing is the member of staff was doing her very best to help this gentleman, but in doing so she could have caused a bigger problem simply by not understanding and adhering to confidentiality.