[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 07:12 GMT 08:12 UK
Man held in HSBC India scam probe
A call centre worker in Bangalore, southern India
HSBC is pursuing legal action against one member of staff
Police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore say they have arrested an employee in connection with a financial scam operating from a HSBC call centre.

Nadeem Kashmiri, a data operator, has been charged with hacking the computer system which allegedly led to money being stolen from customer accounts.

HSBC said funds were taken from a "small number" of customers in UK.

The worker is said to have supplied customer data to fraudsters, leading to a total of 233,000 being taken.

HSBC said it would be assisting the Indian police with their investigation.

"We intend to pursue a conviction as aggressively as possible," said a spokesman for the bank.

We believe that any case of theft or a breach of a customer's confidentiality must be treated extremely seriously
Sunil Mehta, Nasscom

The incident follows dozens of cases where banks and other financial institutions have lost customer details - whether through negligence or criminal activities - both in the UK and around the world.

It comes amid growing concern about the risk of identity theft.

Victims reimbursed

The spokesman added that all the affected customers had been contacted and that HSBC would reimburse all funds that had been taken.

The fraud was detected by internal systems at the call centre, which had been in place since 2002.

Following the news, the trade body for the Indian IT and services sector - Nasscom - said it would work with legal authorities, both in India and the UK, to ensure any breaches in security were quickly prosecuted.

"We believe that any case of theft or a breach of a customer's confidentiality must be treated extremely seriously," said Nasscom's vice president Sunil Mehta.

Adrian Graves, spokesman for the UK's National Association of Banking and Insurance Customers, told BBC Radio Five Live that it was a "very serious breach of security".

"We've expressed concern about the foreign location of call centres for some very considerable time," he said.

"We know that customers prefer to deal with call centres that are based here in the UK where they don't have any language difficulties and where they can contact their local branch and deal with real people."

How secure are India's call centres?
24 Jun 05 |  South Asia
Outsourcing exposes firms to fraud
16 Jun 05 |  Business
Fear over India call centre fraud
05 Apr 04 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific