Ranking Banks Based on Incidents of Identity Theft

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1 Response

  1. dcuser says:

    I’m dubious of the value of raw ratios. I haven’t looked at the study, but it seems to me that it would be awfully important to control for or acknowledge two things that could throw the ratios way out of whack for some institutions:

    (1) Banks with disproportionate credit card operations (including B of A, after its acquisition of MBNA), since credit cards probably account for the lions’-share of identity-theft incidents (the numerator of your ratio), yet are not associated with any increase in deposits (the denominator); and

    (2) Banks that involve almost exclusively online consumer interactions (like HSBC), since the internet may be both the prime method of identity theft, and the prime way in which user laziness or error (using unsecured wireless; inadequate firewalls; using unsecure computers at internet cafes) causes the security breach that makes identity theft possible.

    It simply doesn’t make sense to compare an exclusively internet banking operation with one where lots of the customers are little old ladies walking up to the window every month. Nor does it make sense to include credit card based identity theft. Unless the study acknowledges and deals with these problems, comparison between institututions has little value.