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Axa Wealth apologises for advised clients data breach

Axa Wealth has apologised to two financial advisers after statements giving full details of their clients’ investments and account information were sent to another investor, in what has been described as an “embarrassing” blunder.

Included within the half-yearly account update sent to a client of Neal Hall, chartered financial planner at London-based IFA firm Atherton York, were statements relating to clients of chartered financial planner Filip Slipaczek and independent financial adviser Colin Tate.

The documents included acount information including the Elevate account number, names and addresses, as well as details on the value of holdings in cash and across various product wrappers, specific underlying fund investments and orders to buy or sell investments and charges.

Paul Riddell, head of strategic communications for Axa Wealth, stated that initial investigations into the mistake suggested that this is an “isolated incident”.

Mr Riddell said the advisers have been apologised to and clients will be written to separately. He added that a full investigation has been carried out.

A spokeswoman for Axa Wealth confirmed that following the investigation it was found to be an isolated incident “in an otherwise robust process”.

Mr Hall confirmed following contact with his Axa representative that the matter is being taken seriously and the firm had intimated it was most likely accounted for by human error.

He went on to say that while everyone makes mistakes this is pretty serious, describing it as “very embarrassing for Axa and certainly not what should be expected.”

Mr Hall continued that on the whole the service from Axa is generally excellent, but where standards have fallen and responses are slow, he has let them know.

He said: “We have been working closely with Axa in our business for five years now without any such previous problems.

“These events will be noted and taken into account when we conduct our next regular platform due diligence exercise.”

Mr Slipaczek expressed concern at the incident but was not able to provide fuller comment at the time of writing. Mr Tate did not respond to requests for comment.

peter.walker@ft.com

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