Desjardins Group is in the midst of contacting its 2.9 million members making them aware that their personal information has been shared with individuals outside the company.
“This situation is the outcome of unauthorized and illegal use of our internal data by an employee who has since been fired. In light of these events, and given the circumstances, additional security measures were put in place on all accounts. Desjardins Group will be sending a letter to all members affected by the incident.”
Personal members may have had the following information affected: first and last name, date of birth, social insurance number, address, phone number, email address and details about your banking habits and Desjardins products. However, passwords, security questions and personal identification numbers were not compromised.
Desjardins reassuring members and clients
Desjardins said the incident was not a cyberattack and that its computer systems were in no way breached during the incident.
"I'd like to reassure our members and clients: their accounts and assets with Desjardins are protected in the event of fraud. If they suffer a financial loss as a result of this situation, they will get their money back. We regret this situation and are making every effort to ensure that it doesn't happen again," said Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins Group.
The company has hired experts to work closely with police and has instituted additional security measures to protect members’ and clients’ personal information.
As a precaution, Desjardins will also offer affected members a credit monitoring plan and identity theft insurance for 12 months, paid for by Desjardins. These members will be contacted directly, and an activation code will be included in the letter they receive.
AMF keeping an eye on the situation
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), which called the incident “a very serious situation,” is monitoring the situation closely.
After being informed of the incident, the AMF quickly inquired about the potential implications and the steps taken by Desjardins Group to effectively address the situation.
The AMF was informed of the situation shortly after it was discovered by Desjardins Group. The AMF said it is satisfied with the actions taken Desjardins Group to protect the interests and assets of its members.
“[We] remain confident that the institution's officers have handled the situation with due rigour, transparency and speed and that the cooperation provided to law enforcement is full and complete,” the regulator said.