Computers holding personal details of 10,000 Bank of Ireland customers have been stolen, it was confirmed tonight.
The thefts of four laptops containing the sensitive information happened last year but the bank only admitted the security breach days ago.
They were being used by staff from the bank’s life assurance section and held medical backgrounds, bank accounts, names and addresses.
The information had not been encrypted with secure codes.
The Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes, who was only told about the theft last Friday, is investigating.
In a statement the bank confirmed the thefts and also said customers had not been told laptops with their details had been stolen.
“Four laptops belonging to Bank of Ireland Life were stolen between June and October 2007,” it said.
“The appropriate regulators were informed last week. The thefts of the laptops were only brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities in the Bank in the past number of weeks.
“A full internal investigation is under way.
“These laptops contained information for 10,000 life assurance customers. The Bank is putting a communications programme in place to contact all affected customers.
“However, in the interim the Bank has monitored all of these customer accounts and can confirm that there has been no evidence of fraudulent or suspicious activity on any of these accounts.
“Bank of Ireland regrets any concerns that this incident will cause to customers and is committed to moving as quickly as possible to allay these concerns.”