A consumer complains after their bank incorrectly sent statements to their abusive ex-partner’s address

Distress and inconvenience Up to £1,500 Banking

Alex complained about their bank's response, after finding out it had been incorrectly sending bank statements to the address of Alex's abusive ex-partner.

What happened

Alex complained about their bank after finding out it had been sending bank statements to Alex’s abusive ex-partner’s address for several months. Alex discovered this after asking the bank for copies of statements as part of ongoing divorce proceedings.

Once the statements were provided, Alex was shocked and extremely upset to find the ex-partner’s address on the account, meaning they would have seen several weeks’ worth of Alex’s transactions. Alex said they had been harassed via calls, texts and emails by their ex-partner in recent weeks and could not understand how they had Alex’s new contact information. This was a difficult and depressing time for Alex, and there was added stress as Alex found they had to now change their address, phone number and email address. 

Although Alex and their ex-partner previously had a joint account, this had been converted to a sole account. But due to human error at the bank, the correspondence address was not changed from that of Alex’s ex-partner.      

The bank apologised for the error – recognising the data breach – and offered compensation, but Alex was not happy with their response and asked us to look at what happened.  

What we said

We asked Alex to tell us more about the impact felt after discovering the bank had sent statements to the ex-partner. Although we recognised that the bank had apologised and corrected the correspondence address on their system, we did not think the bank had fully considered the distress that Alex had experienced as a result of its error. And we said that the level of compensation offered as an apology was not enough. 

The increased contact from Alex’s partner came at a time when Alex thought they had put their abusive relationship behind them, and were moving on with their life.

In the circumstances we felt that £1,500 compensation would better reflect the distress and inconvenience the error had caused. Both Alex and the bank accepted this, and the bank agreed to make their payment to Alex.