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FCA loses 323 electronic devices worth over £300,000 reports Griffin Law

By Joy Dumasia

July 15, 2021

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According to official figures, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulatory watchdog for financial services firms in the U.K., has misplaced a total of 323 electronic devices estimated to be worth £310,600 over the last three years. 

Details of the extent of device losses were obtained by niche litigation practice Griffin Law using the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. The FOI revealed that hundreds of laptops, tablets, desktops and mobile phones were reported as lost or stolen by FCA staffers over the three most recent financial years (FY 18/19, 19/21 and 20/21). 

In the most recent financial year, overall lost devices surged by 369 per cent, with 197 devices being reported missing, worth an estimated £193,400. This compares to losses of 42 machines in 2020 worth around £41,500 and 84 in 2019 cost an estimated £75,700. 

Tablet computers topped the lost devices list, with 201 lost and 14 stolen across the three financial years, worth an estimated £215,000 in total. A staggering 123 of these devices were reported as lost or stolen in 2021. 

Next was laptops, with 88 going missed over the combined period at a total cost of £88,000 – 68 of these incidents occurred in 2021. 

Donal Blaney, Founder, Griffin Law, said: “The Information Commissioner needs to investigate the FCA over the loss of sensitive data on these laptops, phones and tablets. There can be no excuse for such carelessness by FCA staff with such expensive gadgets paid for by hard-working taxpayers”. 

Recently, IBS Intelligence reported that Retail banks had been issued a warning by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about continuing weaknesses and failings surrounding their financial crime controls. The letter was penned by David Geale, the Director of Retail Banking & Payments Supervision for the FCA, and sent to banking industry chiefs across the U.K.

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