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IFA pulls clients from Ascentric after 'terrible' data breach

IFA pulls clients from Ascentric after 'terrible' data breach

Sussex-based Prosperity IFA director Simon Munday is set to pull his clients from the Ascentric platform after a technology error allowed one of his clients to access another adviser's client portfolios.

Munday (pictured) has 129 clients with around £10 million of assets under advice on the platform but will move them onto other providers following the incident.

In October one of Munday's clients logged into her Ascentric account she was able to access another advice firm's client portfolios.

The client had full access to the advisers’ trading account on the platform so could have altered the client portfolios.

She did not make any changes and reported the problem to Munday immediately.

When Munday reported the claim to Ascentric, the platform replied with a letter and sent the client some flowers.

Munday said he was disappointed with the response because it did not address the issues raised in the complaint.

‘The response just felt a bit like Ascentric was saying “yes we have written a letter, we have sent a bunch of flowers, that’s it the issue is dealt with.” It felt like the complaint was swept under the carpet,’ he said.

Munday was also concerned the same mistake could lead to another advisers’ client accessing his data.

He said: ‘My client had full trading access to another advisers’ trading accounts, which is a terrible data breach. If that has happened to someone else, what is to say that it won’t happen to me?’

Prosperity will now look at its clients on the Ascentric platform on an individual basis to decide which other providers to move them onto.

A spokeswoman for Ascentric said the problem was a one-off issue and the platform would report itself to the information commissioner, which regulates data protection issues.

‘This was a one-off issue which has never occurred in seven years of trading and was due to a unique set of circumstances,’ she said.

‘We intend to report this incident to the information commissioner.’

Earlier this month direct-to-consumer platform Nutmeg was hit by a data breach issue which meant 32 clients could access other clients’ investment suitability reports when they logged into their own accounts.

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