A Scottish Widows customer claims the provider has cost him £50,000 after it breached the Data Protection Act by sending details of his pension to his ex-wife.
The provider has offered the customer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, £500 in compensation for sending the information to an unauthorised address.
But the customer says his losses will be in the region of £50,000 plus legal expenses, as his ex-wife is seeking half of the pension policy’s £100,000 value.
In a letter sent earlier this month, seen by Money Marketing, Scottish Widows says it erroneously updated the customer’s address when his ex-wife provided a change of address instruction for a different policy. This was despite the provider having been informed the couple had divorced.
The letter says: “This should not have happened as she was not a party to the contract.
“Due to the errors I have mentioned, we sent information to an unauthorised address and I understand that it was opened by the occupant.
“The misdirection represented a breach of the Data Protection Act.”
Scottish Widows says it is willing to consider a claim relating to the customer’s legal expenses “in principle”, but it notes full compensation would require proof the costs are “solely linked to our error”.
The customer says: “Scottish Widows has divulged the details of my personal pension to a third party. I want them to recognise the damage they have done and put things right.
“I intend to present myself at their offices in protest until they deal with this.”
The customer has lodged a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The law requires both parties in divorce cases to provide full disclosure of assets.
But the customer says he has received legal advice it does not need to be disclosed.
A Scottish Widows spokesman says: “We have apologised to the customer for having the incorrect address on his records and have offered compensation in recognition of the distress this has caused.
“However, we cannot become involved in a domestic dispute connected with the legal advice he was given at the time of his divorce.”