Money To Live

August 4, 2008

Too much of a personal touch?

Filed under: banks — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am
Tags: ,

What do you do if your banker hits on you?

This happened to a friend of mine, who requests to go by Lynn.

Lynn went to the bank to open a new account, and a few days later her banker, Mr. Banker, called her up to chat. She blew him off but ran into him at the local farmers’ market the following weekend. Mr. Banker called again, and Lynn told him she was not interested.

Mr. Banker’s behavior is unprofessional and unethical, and he violated his institution’s privacy policy, which restricts access to personal information to those who require it “to provide products and services to you.” If Mr. Banker considers a date to be a service, maybe he should look for work in Nevada.

In medicine, HIPAA (pronounced “hip-uh”) government regulations address security and privacy of patient data (hospital employees were fired after snooping in Britney Spears’s medical file). If a nurse looked up a patient’s information and called her to ask for a date, the nurse could be fired.

I do not know of analogous laws that protect private information outside of medicine, and it could be up to an individual manager’s discretion of how to discipline Mr. Banker.

Lynn has not reported Mr. Banker’s breach of the privacy policy (looking up her phone number).

What would you do? Would you call the bank and report Mr. Banker?



  1. When we live in a society that carries heavy penalties for “tattling”, calling and reporting someone is tough. Here’s a couple reasons why Lynn should:

    1. If he’s unethically accessing her information, he could do other unethical things with her account. (Needless to say, it’d be smart to keep an eye on her account for the next few months, and save her paperwork.)

    2. If he has the gall to pursue Lynn this way, it’s likely that he’s behaving in a similarly inappropriate manner to his co-workers and other customers. As a customer, Lynn is in a much stronger position than other victims in his life. She can make a real difference in how he treats other women.

    3. The bank needs to know. No responsible entity wants maverick employees out there.

    Comment by C — August 4, 2008 @ 12:30 pm |Reply

  2. If he’s done it once, he’s probably done it several times. And, depending on how creepy he is, he might look at other things in her bank activity. Often, things like Direct Deposits, or automatic bill paying things can reveal more information. (Plus, he already has her address, too.)

    Comment by Janice — August 4, 2008 @ 1:21 pm |Reply

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