HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
An explanation of our use of your personal data and a guide to your rights under the Data Protection Act.
It is important that you read and understand the information below as it explains how we will use the personal data you provide to us and which we obtain from third parties. You should read this in conjunction with the further information we provide on this subject in both our Mortgage and Savings Application Forms.
The Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act puts obligations on users of personal information and lays down principles for its use. You are entitled to know how we intend to use any information you provide.
Following your written request and payment of the required fee, you are entitled under the act to see and receive a copy of any personal information we may hold on you. You also have the right to have any inaccurate information corrected.
Further information on the Data Protection Act is publicly available from the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF (Tel: 0303 123 1113. Fax: 01625 524510. Website: http://ico.org.uk).
How we use your personal information
The main ways in which information that you provide can be used are shown below:
- To assist us in assessing any application you make and, if it is accepted, to assist us in providing the account or service for which you have applied.
- To assist us in making credit decisions and establishing identity, where necessary.
- For fraud prevention and detection and/or to prevent money laundering.
- To assist insurers in risk assessment and dealing with claims.
- Disclosure to third parties acting as our agent so long as they keep the information confidential.
- Marketing, market research, statistical analysis and general business purposes.
- To help develop and improve the products and services offered to you and to other customers.
- If the law permits or it is in the public interest.
- Information entered on our website, when you enquire about a product or service provided by a partner organisation, will be passed through to them.
Subject to us obtaining your prior consent, we will use your information to keep you advised of any products, services, promotions, offers and events that we think you may be interested in. When you open an account, take out a mortgage or ask for any other product from us, you have the opportunity to tell us whether or not you wish to receive this information. We will invite you to review that decision from time to time but you can write to us at any time if you change your mind. Remember that opting out will stop us informing you of products and services which may benefit you.
With your consent, information about you will be provided to:
- the National Counties Group which consists of National Counties Building Society, Family Building Society, National Counties Financial Services Limited and Counties Home Loan Management Limited. Family Building Society is a trading name of National Counties Building Society.
- selected companies whose names will be advised to you when you open an account, take out a mortgage or ask for another product from us.
Credit Reference Agencies and Fraud Prevention Databases
We will search Credit Reference Agency files in order to establish your identity and also to protect you, us and our customers. The searches will normally also reveal details of other residents at the address(es) you have provided. The agencies will record that a search was made against your name whether or not an application proceeds.
We will share information about you and your account(s) with a Credit Reference Agency and Fraud Prevention Databases. The information held at these organisations may be used by us and other subscribers to make decisions on future applications and for debt tracing and fraud prevention.
The Credit Reference Agency that we use is Equifax Limited. Registered Office: Capital House, 25 Chapel Street, London, NW1 5DS. You have the right to apply to the Equifax Ltd Customer Centre at PO Box 10036, Leceister, LE3 4FS for a copy of your credit file, subject to payment of a fee. If there is anything on your credit file which is inaccurate, you have the right to ask the agency to add a Notice of Correction.
We are a member of the IDS Ltd. - Insurance Database Services Ltd, an insurance fraud prevention database using the Claims Underwriting Exchange (CUE) and supported by the Association of British Insurers.
When you open an account with us, we are required by law to confirm your identity. To make it easier for you, we have revised our procedures and there is now no need to send any identity documentation with your application.
To check your identity, we will make searches about you at a Credit Reference Agency that will supply us with information, including details from the Electoral Register. The searches will not be seen or used by lenders to assess your ability to obtain credit.
If we are unable to verify your identity by this method we will advise you of the additional documentation required.
Our mortgage, savings and general insurance activities are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Occasionally, an audit of a sample of our customer records is undertaken by the FCA or by our other regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority. Whenever this happens, strict confidentiality conditions are imposed for your protection.
Like other financial organisations, we are legally obliged to collect and record information confirming customer identity. In situations where we consider an application or a transaction to be suspicious we are also required to report these details to the National Crime Agency.
Some Acts of Parliament require us to disclose information about our customers to certain bodies with statutory powers. HM Revenue & Customs, for example, has the statutory power to audit customers' accounts from time to time.
Keeping your information confidential
Our aim is to ensure that any information we hold about you is accurate, secure and confidential.
Before making information available to anyone, we will protect your confidentiality by checking that they have the right to receive it. For example, we may ask you to prove your identity when you telephone us about your account(s) and we will ask you to provide written authority before making information available to third parties.
Our policies and procedures ensure strict compliance with the Data Protection Act so that your personal information remains confidential. Training, regarding the Data Protection Act and customer confidentiality, is given to each member of our staff to ensure that their obligations under the Act are understood.