I can’t picture this happening here

The Guardian in the UK published this letter:

My mother regularly deposits pocket money in my 15-year-old son’s Bradford & Bingley savings account. Recently she paid in a £40 cheque at her local branch and asked for a receipt. She was handed a printed mini-statement showing his latest transactions. She did not feel she had any right to see such information but the cashier explained the bank no longer provided receipts unless she brought in the passbook. Surely this is a breach of the Data Protection Act? AR, Manchester

Stop and think. If this happened in the U.S., how might your bank handle the inquiry or complaint if you lodged one? Would you get an acknowledgment and an apology or would your concerns be minimized?

Here’s how the bank in question responded:

Bradford & Bingley phoned your son for his permission to investigate your complaint, as it should. The Data Protection Act covers everyone, whatever their age, so your mother should not have been given his statement. If a branch cannot produce a printed receipt, the staff should write one out by hand. The bank has now credited a £25 goodwill payment to your son’s account and sent flowers to your mother to apologise.

So yes, the bank erred, but I like the classy way they responded and wish more entities showed some class in similar situations.

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