BANK account details of 800 Lewisham Homes tenants were found on an unencrypted memory stick left in a pub.

The Information Commissioner’s Office revealed that in March a contractor working for Lewisham Homes, who had previously worked for Wandle Housing Association, left the memory stick in All Inn One pub, in Perry Vale, Forest Hill.

The device contained the names, addresses, and information about rent arrears, of more than 20,000 tenants of Lewisham Homes and 6,200 tenants of Wandle Housing Association.

Almost 800 of the records belonging to Lewisham tenants also contained their bank account details.

Milford Towers in Catford is made up of 276 flats and is run by Lewisham Homes.

News Shopper: Ron White and Hugh Williams Vice-chairman of Milford Towers Community Association Ron White said: “I feel very disturbed about it.

“It’s a violation of all the tenants without a doubt.

“I will be pursuing it to find out about my bank details.”

Chairman Hugh Williams said: “Why they needed to carry a memory stick with that amount of information on is beyond me. What were they doing with it in a pub?”

He added: “I have no confidence whatsoever in Lewisham Homes.”

The contractor was an ICT database administrator hired through an agency and has since been dismissed.

Following the incident both Lewisham Homes and Wandle Housing Association were found to have breached the Data Protection Act.

As a result all staff, including contractors and temporary staff, will be monitored to ensure they are taking the appropriate measures to keep the personal information they are handling secure.

A Lewisham Homes spokeswoman said: “We investigated the risk of personal data being lost and are confident that no personal data was compromised as the data stick was immediately handed into the police.

“We have since reviewed and strengthened our data security measures to ensure information can no longer be transferred to sticks or other portable devices without encryption."

Acting head of enforcement at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Sally-Anne Poole, said: “Saving personal information on to an unencrypted memory stick is as risky as taking hard copy papers out of the office.

“Luckily, the device was handed in and there is no suggestion that the data was misused.

“But this incident could so easily have been avoided if the information had been properly protected.”

Tenants concerned about their details being used should call the ICT team on 0800 028 2028 or 020 8613 7630.