MIG and the DPA (update)

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Further to earlier posting regarding subject access rights to MIG data, here's the text of the IC's response received yesterday:

"Further to my letter of -- January, I have received a response to my enquiries from Citibank International Plc.

You complained that certain information, about your Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee, was excluded from the material you received from Citibank, in response to your subject access request. In view of this, I wrote to Citibank to ascertain how this information is stored and why they refused to supply it to you.

Citibank responded by explaining that information about your MIG is not filed under your name or stored as personal data in any of their filing systems. Furthermore, they asserted that this data is classed as privileged information between the bank and the insurers.

After consideration of the information, which you and Citibank have provided, there is no strong indication that there has been any contravention of the Act. We do not intend to undertake any further investigation."

I intend to write again to the IC, explaining how this MIG document is being used by citibank as the basis of claiming £huge from me under a disputed right of subrogation - which proves (to my mind at least) that they must have some way of cross-referencing my name and address with the MIG policy. This makes it "personal data" as defined under section 1(1) of the DPA 1998.

Any helpful comments, suggestions?

-- Melody (mbc109@york.ac.uk), January 29, 2002


I think you are doing exactly the right thing. The IC needs to realise that such a document is stored with reference to yourself, how else can they be holding you liable.

This is just semantics’, they know they are on a loser here.

And, if the details of the policy are confidential, then they have no right to hold you liable or discuss your liability anyway.

And, remember to state to the IC that you paid for this MIG policy in the first place.

Good Luck.

-- anon (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), January 29, 2002.


Payments were made by you, through your mortgage account presumably, to cover the premiums due for the MIG. This money was directed from your account with the lender to an Acct for the MIG and would have to identifiable otherwise they would have a huge pile of money accumulating from all appropriate borrowers and none of it traceable to any source. (If you believe that one you'll believe anything)

If records of the payments are NOT identifiable by ANY means how are they able to apportion the alleged shortfall-debts? No record of you havinf a MIG means no shortfall-debt. If the payments are linked to you in some way in their records which enables identification of you then that surely is personal data. If it isn't I don't know what is!!

I would write to the lender asking them how they are able to identify you for this "debt" if they don't have some form of cross-reference. It is obvious that you can be identified by the lender - and if they can identify you so can anyone else with reference to your mortgage records. It would most interesting to see just how they respond.

-- Joy Harker (fightingback@harker.go-plus.net), January 29, 2002.


If there IS this pile of un-identifiable money it would be interseting to know how their accountants deal with it and whether the brand of anti-depressants the poor sods are bound to be on causes amnesia to any degree! I wonder if Gordon Brown knows about this?

-- Joy Harker (fightingback@harker.go-plus.net), January 29, 2002.

Since payments for this MIG policy were made by you, and accounts relating to these payments must be held, they must refer to you by name.

Good Luck.

-- anon (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), January 29, 2002.

'anon'.....quite! There is also the matter of Melody being the third party to the MIG or why else would she paying for it? The only conclusion I can come to is that the Lender & or Insurer have something to hide possibly or why would they be hiding behind this'confidentiality' clause? There is no need to be obstructive if all the dealings in the matter have been dealt with as they should have.

-- Joy Harker (fightingback@harker.go-plus.net), January 29, 2002.

Indeed, a barrister recently stated to me that the more they resist providing documents to you, the more certain you can be that they have something to hide.

This is just an insurance policy, it will define the conditions for liability, the scope of the liability, and a number of exclusions to that liability. Why are they so concerned about people seeing copies of the MIG policies........unless there is something adverse to their claim against the borrower in the terms and conditions that they don't want anybody to see.

I for one smell a big fat rat.

Good Luck.

-- anon (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), January 30, 2002.

Been having some further thoughts on this matter of the right of a third party, in this case the insurer, to prevent another member of the three parties legally involved in the agreement(the lender, the borrower & the insurer)from having sight of the MIG on the grounds of a breach of confidentiality (or against their interest). As this is what the Data Protection Act states is permissable, the borrower would therefore be equally entitled to refuse permission for either the lender or the insurer,(each in their separate status as a third party to the MIG policy), to have sight of, or a copy, of that same MIG policy.

If that is not the case there must be some clause within the policy that prohibits this for some good reason, as far as the lender & the insurer are concerned. The prohibited party would have to be specifically identified as 'the borrower' or else NONE of the three parties involved would be allowed to have sight of, or a copy of the MIG policy because either of the other two could with-hold their permission!! ( Bring on the clowns ...)

Of course lenders & insurers could have tacit agreements, but they're always a bit dicey where money is concerned I think, human nature being what it is. (Have a look at Mark Chap X11, Verses 1-5.)

Even so, let's imagine a situation where a lender & an insurer do have a tacit agreement and trust one another absolutely, they do not have to hide anything do they?

So, if the lenders & the insurers are above aboard in their dealings why do they behave in an obstructive fashion? It could be that they very definitely do have something to hide, couldn't it?

I think this very questionable state of affairs should be seriously investigated by the Financial Services Authority.

-- Joy Harker (fightingback@harker.go-plus.net), January 31, 2002.

Sorry folks - got the Bible quote wrong ........ it should LUKE Chap 12, Verses 1-5 (Not Mark!!)

-- Joy Harker (fightingback@harker.go-plus.net), January 31, 2002.

To go back to Joy's comment on how accountants deal with the money, They put it all in a very large "suspense account". This is also where they put payments that they cannot "trace" and any other payments they want to lose. This is called creative accounting and insurance companies, banks and building societies have been doing it for years. After a time when they cannot trace it, (quite obviously they don't try very hard) it is transferred to "other income" which makes the shareholders very, very happy!

To go back to Melody's original question, the company's auditors should be able to get at the information about the amound paid under MIGs and this will be declared in their annual accounts. This information should then be transparent to any shareholder or to anyone who asks questions about the accounts. I should tell the IC that if this information is available to shareholders (It may be only figures but this should be available for cross checking if you know the figures applicable in your own case!) then the information should be available to you! In the case of a mutual all mortgagors are classed as members of the society and the information should still be available to you!

Best of luck - Anne

-- Anne Veasey (anneveasey@surfanytime.co.uk), February 02, 2002.

With regarding to creative accounting ..... If a borrower's MIG payments(included with the mortgage)are not identifiable as such then surely that 'extra' amount could be regarded as overpayment on the mortgage, thereby affecting the balance due. They can't have it both ways. Either it is a MIG payment and identifiable,otherwise they would be screaming blue murder that the MIG was in arrears,- OR - it is an overpayment on the mortgage. It doesn't matter what imaginative heading they 'account for it' under - those payments have been made,(Reference to bank statements would prove this) and subsequently will be shown on the account i.e. personal data.

-- Joy Harker (fightingback@harker.go-plus.net), February 19, 2002.

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