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Our main use of your personal information is to look after your account or to provide the specific service you require. Some details we obtain elsewhere – from credit reference agencies or your employer for instance. If you apply to us for insurance, we will pass your details to the insurer.
If you make a claim, any information you give to us, or to the insurer, may be put onto a register of claims and shared with other insurers to prevent fraudulent claims. A list of the participants is available from the insurer. We may also disclose your information to our agents and other insurers to investigate or prevent fraud.
We may record phone conversations to offer you additional security, resolve complaints and improve our service standards. Conversations may also be monitored for staff training purposes.
Our employees are personally responsible for maintaining customer confidentiality. We provide training and education to all our staff to remind them about their obligations. Our policies and procedures are regularly audited and reviewed.
The Data Protection Act puts obligations on users of personal information and lays down principles for its use. One principle states that information has to be processed fairly and lawfully. This means that you are entitled to know how we intend to use any information you provide. You can then decide whether you want to give it to us.
Organisations must lodge a notification with the Information Commissioner describing the purposes for which they process personal information. The details are publicly available from the Commissioner's office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF (Tel 01625 545745. Fax 01625 524510). Alternatively, see the Commissioner's website (www.ico.gov.uk).
Some Acts of Parliament oblige us to disclose information about our customers to certain bodys with statutory powers. For example, we must give information to authorised benefit fraud investigators where fraudulent benefit claims are suspected. In addition, the Inland Revenue has the statutory authority to audit our customers' accounts from time to time.
If you email us or give us your email address, we will keep a record of it. We may use it to contact you occasionally about other products and services which may interest you, unless you ask us to not do so. Each email that we send you will give you the opportunity to opt-out of emails. We will not give your email address to any unauthorised third parties.
The Data Protection Act defines certain information as 'sensitive' (racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal proceedings and offences). If you apply to us for insurance, a pension, health insurance or life insurance, we may ask you for some 'sensitive' details. We will only use this information to provide you with the service you require and we will ask you for your explicit consent. As a customer there may be times when you give us sensitive information. We may share it with other parts of the Lloyds Banking Group and our subcontractors to keep your records up to date. Some transactions that you (or an additional cardholder) make on a card account may cause sensitive or confidential details to appear on your statement. If your card is used for such transactions, we believe that the details appear on your statement with your explicit consent.
Unless you have given us your consent, we will not provide information about you to companies outside our group to use for their own marketing purposes. Sometimes we need to give information to our agents and subcontractors so that they can provide a particular service for us. Sometimes, these companies may be located abroad in countries that do not have adequate data protection laws. In these circumstances we always take great care to ensure that your personal information is kept safe and secure. If you hold a credit or debit card with us, we will share transaction details with our scheme providers (e.g. MasterCard). Other members of our group may also share your information to help keep their records up to date and administer your relationship with them.
What are cookies
Session cookies - these are temporary cookies which are stored on your computer and are then erased when you close your browser. As they are deleted, this means that the next time you visit a website, it will not recognise you and so will treat you as a completely new user.
Persistent or stored cookies - these are cookies which will remain on your hard drive until they expire or you erase them yourself. This type of cookie recognises that you've visited a site before. How long these cookies remain on your computer depends upon how long the visited website has programmed the cookies to remain for.
To make it easier for you when using our Online Banking service, you may choose to have your username saved on your computer so that you don't have to enter it every time you use the service. By selecting the option 'Remember my username', your username will be automatically entered every time you access the service. In order for us to remember your username, we need to store it on your computer using a cookie.
Please note that you should never use this option if you are using a public computer (for example in an Internet Cafe) or if the computer is shared by anyone else, as other users would be able to see your username. This should only be used for your home PC.
• Keep your online transactions secure. This is done by storing your sign in details temporarily using a session cookie. This type of cookie will then be deleted when you sign out of the Online Banking service.
• Automatically sign you out of the service after 10 minutes of inactivity for security purposes.
• Track or personalise your visit to the website and use the information to inform you of offers that may be relevant to you.
• Remember your username, but not your password or security information.*
*If you have any anti-spyware software installed on your computer, for example 'cookie washing', this may mean that we are unable to store your username.
Additional cookie information
• Cookies cannot obtain any personal information stored about you or anyone else on your computer. They cannot read any material which is kept on your computer's hard drive and unless you are logged in to our Online Banking service, cookies cannot be used to identify who you are.
• You are able to set your browser so that you can disable persistent or stored cookies and session cookies. However, if you do disable session cookies, you will not be able to log in to our Online Banking service, although you will be able to view our public unsecured website.
• If the computer that you are using is set to disable persistent or stored cookies, you will be able to access our Online Banking service, although this may affect your navigation of the website.
• Web browsers are usually set up so that they accept cookies. However, you can set your web browser to disable cookies or set up your computer to inform you when a website is attempting to add a cookie. Also, you have the option to delete cookies which have previously been added to your computer's cookie file.
• If anyone else has access to your computer or the computer you are using, cookies cannot be used by them to access information about you and cookies do not in any way compromise the security of Online Banking.
• Cookies do not affect your right to opt-out from receiving any marketing material from us at any time.
For further information on cookies, please refer to the following website :
We may use your account details, transactions and information provided to us by third parties in our customer contact programme. Occasionally, members of our group of companies may contact you by letter, telephone, email and text message or otherwise to inform you about other products and services that may interest you. We try to limit our customer contact programme to acceptable levels, but if you wish to exercise your right to opt out, simply contact our customer services on 020 7871 0464*.
Remember however, that opting out could stop us contacting you about any of our products or services that may benefit you.
Under the Data Protection Act you have the right of access to your personal data. The Act allows us to charge a fee of £10 for this service. If anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know and we will correct it.
If you do not want to receive unsolicited mail from other companies, you can prevent this by registering with the Mailing Preference Service. In addition, the Telephone and Fax Preference Services enable you to object to receiving unsolicited marketing phone calls or faxes from other companies. To register, simply telephone the appropriate number below:
Mailing Preference - 020 7291 3310
Telephone Preference - 020 7291 3320
Fax Preference - 020 7291 3330
Alternatively you can register online. For more details about all the Preference Services, please see the Direct Marketing Association's website (www.dma.org.uk).
We will provide credit reference agencies with regular information about how you use your card. Other lenders may become aware of our search. If you apply for credit in future, lenders may use its existence in their decision making process.
If false or inaccurate information is provided and fraud is identified, details will be passed to fraud prevention agencies to prevent fraud and money laundering.
Q: What is a credit reference agency?
A: Credit reference agencies (CRAs) collect and maintain information on consumers' and businesses' credit behaviour, on behalf of lenders in the UK.
Q: What is a fraud prevention agency?
A: Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) collect, maintain and share information on known and suspected fraudulent. Some CRAs also act as FPAs.
Q: Where do they get the information?
A: Publicly available information:
- The Electoral Register at Local Authorities
- County Court Judgments from Registry Trust
- Bankruptcy information from the Insolvency Service
- Fraud information from fraud prevention agencies
- Credit information comes from information on applications to banks, building societies, credit card companies etc. and also from the conduct of those accounts
Q: How will I know if my information is to be sent to a CRA or FPA?
A: You will be told when you apply for an account if your data will be supplied. The next section tells you how, when and why we will search at CRAs and what we will do with the information we obtain from them. We will also tell you if we plan to send payment history on you or your business, if you have one, to CRAs. You can ask at any time for the name of the CRAs and FPAs used by HBOS.
Q: Why is my data used in this way?
A: We and other organisations want to make the best possible decisions we can, in order to make sure that you or your business will be able to repay us. Some organisations may also use the information to check your identity. In this way we can ensure that we all make responsible decisions. At the same time we also want to make decisions quickly and easily using up to date information provided electronically, allowing us to make the most reliable and fair decisions possible.
Q: Who controls what credit reference agencies are allowed to do with my data?
A: All organisations that collect and process personal data are regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998, overseen by the Office of the Information Commissioner. All credit reference agencies are in regular dialogue with the Commissioner. Use of the Electoral Register is controlled under the Representation of the People Act 2000.
Q: Can just anyone look at my data held at credit reference agencies?
A: No, access to your information is very strictly controlled and only those that are entitled to do so, may see it. Usually that will only be with your agreement or (very occasionally) if there is a legal requirement.
1. What we do when you have an account:
a) Where you borrow or may borrow from us, we will give details of your personal and/or business account (if you have one), including names and parties to the account and how you manage it/them to credit reference agencies
b) If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, we will tell credit reference agencies
c) We may take periodic searches of our Group records, credit referene and fraud prevention agencies to manage your account with us, to take decisions regarding your identity and also credit, including whether to make credit available or to continue to extend existing credit
d) If you have borrowed from us and do not make payments that you owe us, we will trace your whereabouts and recover payment
2. When credit reference agencies receive a search from us they will:
a) Place a search 'footprint' on your credit file whether or not this application proceeds. If the search was for a credit application the record of that search (but not the name of the organisation that carried it out) may be seen by other organisations when you apply for credit in future
b) Link together the records of you and anyone that you have advised is your financial associate including previous and subsequent names of parties to the account. Links between financial associates will remain on your and their files until such a time as you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the credit reference agencies.
3. Supply to us:
a) Credit information such as previous applications and the conduct of the accounts in your name and of your associate(s) (if there is a link between you - see 1b above) and/or your business accounts (if you have one)
b) Public information such as County Court Judgments (CCJs) and bankruptcies
c) Electoral Register information
d) Fraud prevention information
4. When information is supplied by us, to them, on your account(s):
a) Credit reference agencies will record the details that are supplied on your personal and/or business account (if you have one) including previous and subsequent names of parties to the account and how you manage it/them
b) If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, credit reference agencies will record the outstanding debt
c) Records shared with credit reference agencies remain on file for 6 years after they close, whether settled by you or defaulted
5. How your data will NOT be used by credit reference agencies:
a) It will not be used to create a blacklist
b) It will not be used by the credit reference agency to make a decision
6. How your data WILL be used by credit reference agencies:
a) The information which we, other organisations and fraud prevention agencies provide to the credit reference agencies about you, your financial associates and your business (if you have one) may be supplied by credit reference agencies to other organisations and used by them to:
i) Verify your identity if you or your financial associate applies for other facilities including all types of insurance applications and claims
ii) Make decisions on credit, credit related services and on motor, household, life and other insurance proposals and insurance claims, about you, your partner, other members of your household or your business
iii) Trace your whereabouts and recover payment if you do not make payments that you owe
iv) Conduct checks for the prevention and detection of crime including fraud and/or money laundering
v) Manage your personal, your partner's and/or business account (if you have one)
vi) Manage your personal, your partner's and/or business insurance policies (if you have one/any)
vii) Undertake statistical analysis and system training
b) Your data may also be used for other purposes for which you give your specific permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998
c) Your data may also be used to offer you other products, but only if you have given your permission. That will be on the front of any form that you have completed
You can contact the three agencies currently operating in the UK; the information they hold may not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge you a small statutory fee.
Consumer Services Team
PO Box 491
Tel 0870 060 1414*
Credit File Advice Centre
PO Box 3001
Tel 0870 010 0583*
Consumer Help Service
PO Box 8000
Tel 0870 241 6212*
If you have been refused credit you can get advice from your local Trading Standards Department, Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Advice centre and the agencies' websites. The information Commissioner also produces a useful leaflet entitled 'Credit Explained'. You can obtain a free copy on the Commissioner's website (www.ico.gov.uk) or by telephoning 08456 306060.
We have systems that protect our customers and ourselves against fraud and other crime. Customer information can be used to prevent crime and trace those responsible. If false or inaccurate information is provided and fraud is identified, details will be passed to fraud prevention agencies. Law enforcement agencies may access and use this information. We and other organisations may also access and use this information to prevent fraud and money laundering, for example, when:
- Checking details on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities
- Managing credit and credit related accounts or facilities
- Recovering debt
- Checking details on proposals and claims for all types of insurance
- Checking details of job applications and employees
Please contact us on 020 7871 0464* if you want to receive details of the relevant fraud prevention agencies. We and other organisations may access and use from other countries the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies.
By using our websites (through any device) you agree that this Cookies Policy applies to that use in addition to any other terms and conditions which may apply.
Cookies are files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to the device you use when you visit a website. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognises that cookie. Cookies do lots of different and useful jobs, such as remembering your preferences, and generally improving your online experience.
There are different types of cookies. They all work in the same way, but have minor differences:
Session cookies last only for the duration of your visit and are deleted when you close your browser. These facilitate various tasks such as allowing a website to identify that a user of a particular device is navigating from page to page, supporting website security or basic functionality.
Many of the cookies we use are session cookies. For example, they help us to ensure the security of your internet banking session, and can also keep you signed in to internet banking while you move between pages or service your account.
Our session cookies used for security are designed to be very difficult to read, change, access or use except by us when you have an active Internet Banking session. They contain no personal information that can be used to identify an individual. Their names typically start with the letters IB e.g. IBSESSION, IBCOOKIE01, IBCOOKIE02.
Persistent cookies last after you have closed your browser, and allow a website to remember your actions and preferences. Sometimes persistent cookies are used by websites to provide targeted advertising based upon the browsing history of the device.
Opus uses persistent cookies in a few ways, for example, to remember your username for log in so you don’t have to (cookie named IBUserID). We also use persistent cookies to allow us to analyse customer visits to our site, for example our cookie named WT_fpc. These cookies help us to understand how customers arrive at and use our site so we can improve the Internet Banking service.
Whether a cookie is a first or third party cookie depends on which website the cookie comes from. First party cookies are those set by or on behalf of the website visited. All other cookies are third party cookies. We use both first party and third party cookies.
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, and ensuring the security of your online banking experience. Without these cookies services you have asked for, such as applying for products and managing your accounts, cannot be provided. These cookies don’t gather information about you for the purposes of marketing.
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a web site, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor although they may collect the IP address of the device used to access the site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous and is only used to improve how a website works, the user experience and to optimise our advertising. By using our websites you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device, however you can block these cookies using your browser settings.
These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name). They may also be used to provide services you have requested such as watching a video. The information these cookies collect is anonymised (i.e. it does not contain your name, address, account details, etc.) and they do not track your browsing activity across other websites. By using our websites you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device, however you can block these cookies using your browser settings.
These cookies collect several pieces of information about your browsing habits. They are usually placed by advertising networks. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as media publishers. These organisations do this in order to provide you with targeted adverts more relevant to you and your interests. This type of advertising is called online behavioural advertising and those companies providing this advertising are working with the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau to deliver more information to consumers. To highlight this information, publishers of advertising will, in the future, look to place an icon in the top right hand corner of an advert. This icon when clicked, will take you through to the website Youronlinechoices http://www.youronlinechoices.com/uk/ where there is more help and guidance. In addition, Opus seek to only use advertising networks which are signed up to the IASH code of conduct for the placement of adverts. This code requires members to have their processes audited by a third party to ensure compliance. For more information on IASH please go to go to http://www.iash.org.uk. By using our websites you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device, however you can block these cookies using your browser settings.
If you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by any website - including Opus websites, you should do this through the browser settings for each browser you use, on each device you use to access the internet.
Please be aware that some of our services, for example Internet Banking, will not function if your browser does not accept cookies. However, you can allow cookies from specific websites by making them “trusted websites” in your internet browser.
You may wish to visit www.allaboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wider variety of browsers.
Be confident shopping online