Banks probed for peddling client names

Banks probed for peddling client names
Several Swedish banks are suspected of passing on the names of customers who have been denied a mortgage to other lenders who offer higher interest rates to high-risk borrowers.

“Confidentiality requirements for banks say you cannot tell anyone else information gathered from your relationship to a client,” said head lawyer Per Håkansson at the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen – FI).

He declined to name the banks that would be contacted by the agency but told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper that the review would be extensive.

The newspaper revealed last week that both the SEB and SBAB banks had sold information to lenders Bluestep about customers who had approached them for housing loans but been turned down.

Bluestep’s lower-end housing loan interest rate is 6.35 percent, which is more than double many banks’ current rate.

Following the revelation, many of the newspapers’ readers got in touch to say they feared Handelsbanken was also peddling their details.

“I received a letter yesterday from Bluestep asking me to fill in my details if I wanted more information. I recently applied for a loan at Handelsbanken and it just felt like too much of a coincidence,” one reader wrote in.

TT/The Local/at

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