Thousands of Barclays customer files leaked; Deep budget cuts a borderline solution: Midday roundup

Barclays Bank in the UK has been caught up in a leak of customer information, with the Mail on Sunday reporting 27,000 files containing personal information have been stolen.

It involved a financial-planning unit of the bank which was shut in 2011 and the data is from 2008 and earlier.

The Mail on Sunday reported the data had been sold to brokers for investment scams and each file was around 20 pages long and included information about customers.

”We are grateful to the Mail on Sunday for bringing this to our attention and we contacted the Information Commission and other regulators on Friday as soon as we were made aware,” Barclays spokesperson Carey Withey said, according to The Age.

“This appears to be criminal action and we will cooperate with the authorities on pursuing the perpetrator.”

Information contained in the documents included customers earnings, savings, mortgages and health issues.

Deep cuts a borderline solution

Moody’s Investors Service senior sovereign ratings analyst Steven Hess said there will be “economic consequences” if the Government makes deep budget cuts as the mining boom slows, Business Spectator reports.

“Clearly there might be some effect on economic growth,” he said. Hess said there was not an imminent threat to Australia’s triple-A sovereign rating.

“The idea that they would return the budget to surplus is credit positive, but the timing isn’t critical,” he said.

“There is a lot of political rhetoric around the budget position, but fundamentally, Australia is in pretty good (fiscal) position.”

The statement comes as industry groups are putting submissions to the government ahead of the May 14 budget, with the Australian Industry Group wanting the government to tread cautiously on cuts that will impact growth of the economy.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened strongly this morning, following gains on Wall Street overnight on Friday.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 37.3 points to 5203.8 at 12:00pm AEDT. On Friday the Dow Jones closed more than 1% higher, up 165.55 points.

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