We believe it is important to protect your privacy and we are committed to giving you a personalised service that meets your needs in a way that also protects your privacy. This policy explains how we may collect information about you and then use it to meet your needs. It also explains some of the security measures we take to protect your privacy, and tells you certain things we will not do.
When you first give us personal information, or when you take a new service or product from us, we will give you the opportunity to tell us if you do not want to receive information from us about other services or products - to 'opt out'. You can normally do this by ticking a box on an application form or contract. You may change your mind at any time by writing to us.
1. We may collect personal information about you from a number of sources, including the following.
· From you when you agree to take a service or product from us, in which case this may include your contact details and how you will pay for the product or service.
· From you when you contact us with an enquiry or in response to a communication from us, in which case this may tell us something about how you use our services.
· From documents that are available to the public, such as the electoral register.
2. We may use personal information about you for a number of purposes, including the following.
· To help us identify you when you phone us to make an enquiry - for example, we may ask for your phone number so we can avoid giving information to someone you have not authorised to receive it.
· To carry out market research and produce statistics.
· To contact you (by e-mail, mail, phone or text messages) with information about other services or products from us. We will not use your information in this way unless you have given us your permission.
· To help us to run any accounts, services and products which we provide now or in the future, and to contact you about any improvements to these.
· To help prevent or detect fraud or loss.
· To respond to enquiries from you.
3. Whether or not you have told us you don't want us to use your information for direct marketing, it is still our policy to search the mailing, telephone, fax and e-mail preference services as appropriate. So, if you have registered your details with those services, you will not receive any direct marketing material from us in that way.
4. We may do certain credit checks with licensed credit reference agencies when you apply to take a service or product. If this is the case, we will put it in our terms and conditions of business.
5. We may give information we hold about you to third parties to help us provide services you have asked for, as part of the process of selling one or more of our businesses, or where we are asked for the information for legal or regulatory purposes, as part of legal proceedings. From time to time, these third parties may be outside the European Economic Area (EEA) in countries which do not have the same standards of protection for personal information as the UK.
6. We, and other credit organisations, may also access information about you to: help make decisions on credit or credit-related and insurance proposals and claims for you and other members of your household; and - check your identity to prevent money laundering unless you provide other proof of identity.
8. We may monitor and record communications (including phone conversations and e-mails) with you, for quality assurance, legal, regulatory and training purposes.
9. We have strict security measures to protect personal information. This includes following certain procedures (for example, checking your identity when you phone us), encrypting (encoding) data on our websites, and making sure we keep to all relevant legal requirements.
10. If you communicate with us using the Internet, we may occasionally e-mail you about our services and products. When you first give us personal information through our website, we will normally give you the opportunity to say whether you would prefer us not to contact you by e-mail. However, you can always send us an e-mail at any time if you change your mind.
Please remember that communications over the Internet, such as e-mails and webmails (messages sent through a website), are not secure unless they have been encrypted. Your communications may go through a number of countries before they are delivered - this is the nature of the Internet. We cannot accept responsibility for any unauthorised access or loss of personal information that is beyond our control.
13. We may monitor and record phone calls. This will help us to improve our service and make sure we keep to our practices and procedures. Also, by recording phone calls, we can provide evidence of any contracts you enter into over the phone.
We may amend this policy from time to time, in which case we will publish the amended version on our website, and you can ask us for a copy by writing to the above address or by e-mailing us. This policy applies to personal information we hold about individuals. It does not apply to information we hold about companies and other organisations.