A regular criticism from the FSA when it comes to issuing bans on financial advisors is that they failed to demonstrate being ‘a fit and proper person’… the regulator might want to discuss these attributes with its workers, who have lost 41 laptops and Blackberries in the last year.
All of these are thought to have contained secure documents and emails.
The number of lost laptops and devices came to light after a Freedom of Information request from news site, New Model Advisor.
Ironically, the regulator has issued some of its largest bans on financial institutions who have failed to provide adequate data security.
Only in August of this year, the FSA fined the UK branch of Zurich Insurance Plc £2,275,000 for failing to have adequate systems and controls in place to prevent the loss of customers’ confidential information.
The fine is the highest levied to date on a single firm for data security failings.
In this year alone 10 laptops, seven Blackberries and two USB memory sticks were reported lost or stolen. In 2009 eight laptops and 10 Blackberries were mislaid, whilst just two laptops and two Blackberries disappeared in 2008.
Although all its laptops and memory sticks are encrypted, and its Blackberry handsets password protected, the FSA took action last year, disciplining 150 staff for risking the loss of confidential information.
The financial watchdog has reportedly said that it blocked further access to secure information by remotely disabling the hardware.