Westpac stops sending property valuation work to LandMark White after data breach

Westpac stops sending property valuation work to LandMark White after data breach
Westpac stops sending property valuation work to LandMark White after data breach

Westpac has confirmed it had joined Australia's three other major banks in not sending any further valuation work to LandMark White.

"Our immediate priority is to contact customers who may have been impacted," a Westpac spokesperson said.

"We are aware of a personal data leak involving LandMark White, a contracted service provider which conducts property valuations on our behalf," a Westpac spokesperson said.

It came a week after the other big banks pulled their requirement for LMW valuations on property for mortgage applications.

Independent LandMark White holds around 20 per cent share of the residential market with a further eight major property valuers, most of which are subsidiaries of large real estate agencies.

LandmarkWhite has also again suspended its shares from trading on the stockmarket, in the wake of stolen valuation records being posted on a dark-web forum for 10 days.

It suggests the trading halt could be for as long as a month.

The company advised shareholders that LMW had lost work from a significant number of clients which was "impacting our revenues, profitability and cashflows."

Only yesterday it indicated the valuation clients were likely to return.

"At this point in time we are unable to ascertain when these clients will reinstate LMW and hence when LMW will be in a position to assess with any certainty the financial impact of the incident," LMW updated the market at lunchtime Tuesday.

"In addition, LMW anticipates that continued public commentary does not allow for an informed market for trading in LMW securities."

LMW expects that it would be able to provide the market with accurate information relating to the financial impact of the incident and hence a forecast for FY2019 within the next two to four weeks and lift the suspension at that time.

Last week Landmark White advised its investigations revealed that an unknown third party posted an illegally downloaded valuation dataset on a dark web forum for 10 days in late January 2019.

It sought the suspension of its ASX-listed shares after some of the big four banks indicated they had stopped using LMW valuations.

Westpac Group said it "takes the protection of personal information and privacy extremely seriously."

"We are investigating this matter and it is our immediate priority to contact and support any Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA or RAMS customers who may be affected.

"At this stage, we believe only a small number of individuals are potentially impacted.

"The data disclosed includes property valuation details and some contact details (such as names, addresses and email addresses) of the various parties involved in the property valuation process.

"No loan application details, such as financial and identification documents, were disclosed.

"While we investigate the matter, we have also suspended sending any further work to LandMark White," Westpac told its customers.


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