SINGAPORE: Information of 1,166 customers has been disclosed after a United Overseas Bank (UOB) employee fell prey to an impersonation scam.
The customers are China nationals and the information disclosed comprise names, identification and mobile numbers, as well as account balances, said UOB on Friday (May 7).
"Their bank account numbers were not disclosed and our IT systems remain secure," said UOB.
According to its preliminary findings, an employee of the bank had allegedly fallen prey to a China police impersonation scam and had been deceived into disclosing the information of these customers with Singapore-based accounts.
"UOB is working closely with the Singapore Police Force on their investigations," said the bank.
The employee involved has since been suspended and is also assisting in police investigations.
"We apologise to our customers that this has happened as we have always made it a priority to keep their data secure."
UOB said it has written to all affected customers and has taken several precautionary measures to protect them as they may be targeted by scammers.
These measures include:
- Immediately disabling their internet and mobile banking access
- Advising them on resetting their digital banking access and how to protect themselves from scams
- Stepping up account monitoring of affected accounts
- Setting an SMS alert threshold of S$1 for any online funds transfers
- Posting scam protection notices on the login pages of UOB Personal Internet Banking and UOB Mighty
- Posting a public education notice on UOB social media channels.
"We expect the highest standards of professional conduct from our people at all times as part of maintaining the trust our customers place in us," said UOB.
"We are very sorry that our customers have been placed in this position. We will continue to make every effort to work with them on keeping their accounts safe."
In a statement on Saturday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it takes a serious view of UOB's customer data breach.
MAS has been "actively engaging" UOB on its internal controls, mitigation measures and management of the customers involved, said the regulator.
It will take action against the bank if regulatory requirements were breached or supervisory expectations not met, MAS said.