Zurich has taken steps to enhance data security, says chief

Zurich Insurance UK chief executive Stephen Lewis said the loss of a back-up data tape in South Africa containing the data of a number of its general insurance customers was "unacceptable."

Responding to the £2.28m fine issued by the FSA to Zurich UK this morning, Lewis said: “This incident was unacceptable. It served to remind us of the need to strive continually to improve the ways in which we seek to protect customers’ data.

"Supported by KPMG, we therefore commissioned a comprehensive review of our data security systems and procedures and have taken a number of steps designed to enhance those procedures.

"We are appointing a dedicated Information Security Officer to provide ongoing assurance that appropriate measures are in place and that they will continue to be effective. We believe our customers can be confident that we are doing everything we can to keep their data secure and protected.

"The FSA has acknowledged that we fully cooperated with its investigation and recognised that we treated the incident with utmost seriousness and have demonstrated a commitment to take the necessary steps to ensure the on-going security of our customer data.”

Zurich UK said it notified customers about the incident in October 2009 and has since taken steps to address the data security issues identified by this incident.

Zurich UK accepted it was a serious incident and that it regrets the concern the incident caused for a number of its general insurance customers.