Stanford Credit Union informed 18,000 members this week that their personal information was accidentally sent to another member after a name snafu.
The incident, which was outlined in a June 9 letter, occurred on April 30. Staff recognized the error within minutes, and the data was destroyed without being read by the recipient, President and CEO Joan Opp told the Weekly today.
The mistake was not a breach of the bank's security system, Opp noted.
The data was a list of members who were pre-approved for loans. An employee sent the list to a longtime credit union member who had the same first name as the staff person who should have received the list, Opp said. The employee was communicating with the member at the time regarding a different matter.
The member had not viewed the information, Opp said, and staff immediately worked with the member to properly destroy it. The data included names, addresses, member numbers, tax identification numbers, loan offers and credit information.
The credit union delayed notifying members while weighing whether doing so would unduly concern them, since the information was never read. But "trust and transparency are important to us," Opp said.
Stanford Credit Union has 55,000 members. The June 9 letter was sent only to those members whose information was sent in the email, Opp said. The letter assured affected members that their information was not seen by unauthorized persons and that they are not at risk.
"We take this issue extremely seriously and apologize for this internal error. While we have state-of-the-art technology and security systems in place to protect our member, human error is an unfortunate aspect of doing business. We have addressed the issue internally and taken a number of steps to ensure this type of incident cannot happen again, including installing additional software systems and instituting new operational protocols," Opp wrote.
The credit union completely overhauled its information-management system in July 2012, according to its 2012 annual report.
Stanford Credit Union has experienced a 67.5 percent increase in total assets from 2008 through 2012. Its total assets in 2012 rose $136 million to $1.5 billion, according to its 2012 annual report.
The credit union's actual regulatory net worth of $124.8 million, or 8.32 percent, is above the 7 percent required to be "well capitalized" by the National Credit Union Administration, according to the report.