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Card Hacking: No Fraud Signs Yet

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

A top banker yesterday said no evidence had yet emerged to suggest that Bahamas-based commercial banks or their customers had suffered a “major fraud” as a result of any external link of their credit card details.

Paul McWeeney, Bank of the Bahamas International’s managing director, told Tribune Business that his institution - and others in the industry - were still assessing the fallout from data, which was held by a foreign processor, being hacked into.

Noting that the bank has 30,000 credit, debit and gift card clients, Mr McWeeney said he did not currently foresee Bank of the Bahamas International having to replace all of them, but the institution was still reviewing “what has to be done to cure this problem”.

Visa notified Bank of the Bahamas International of the electronic security breach late on Friday night, as it did other banks. Some have already chosen to replace all credit and debit cards, while others have taken a more measured response.

“We have had no queries from clients suggesting there’s a problem,” Mr McWeeney said. “It’s a small amount that could be potentially impacted.

“We’ve not fully assessed it yet. Judging from the absence of consumer complaints, there’s nothing at this point in time to worry about in terms of a major fraud.”

No money appears to have been lost by either Bahamian banks or their customers - at least not yet.

But there will likely be expense and inconvenience associated with replacing any compromised cards.

And Mr McWeeney said all the banks would have to talk to the external data processor to seek “reassurance” that the data is being held securely.

Separately, Mr McWeeney confirmed that Bank of the Bahamas International had appointed Wayde Christie, Scotiabank (Bahamas) former vice-president of retail banking, as its chief operating 
officer. He takes up the post from March 4.

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