Seventy-two federal politicians and nine cabinet ministers – including prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, treasurer Scott Morrison, and attorney-general Christian Porter – could be among the 12 million Australians whose personal financial histories were lost by the Commonwealth Bank.
BuzzFeed News revealed on Wednesday night that the Commonwealth Bank lost the personal banking statements for 20 million accounts from 2004 to 2014 after subcontractor Fuji Xerox lost several tape drives containing the financial information in 2016.
Turnbull called the breach an “extraordinary blunder”, adding it’s “hard to imagine how so much data could be lost in this way”. He called on the bank to inform the people affected so they can take steps to protect their private information.
The Commonwealth Bank informed the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner about the breach in 2016, but didn't alert customers or inform the government.
That's despite at least 72 politicians from the Coalition, Labor, Greens, One Nation and the crossbench holding accounts with Australia's largest bank, according to the publicly available Register of Members Interests.
That includes NINE cabinet ministers:
- Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull
- Treasurer Scott Morrison
- Attorney-general Christian Porter
- Home affairs minister Peter Dutton
- Defence industry minister Christopher Pyne
- Revenue and financial services minister Kelly O'Dwyer
- Indigenous Affairs minister Nigel Scullion
- Resources and Northern Australia minister Matt Canavan
- Regional development minister John McVeigh
Assistant minister to the prime minister James McGrath, minister for children and families Dr David Gillespie, assistant minister for home affairs Alex Hawke, and assistant environment minister Melissa Price also have accounts with the CBA.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott is one of the 37 Liberal and National politicians who could potentially be victims of the data breach.
In the lower house Coalition backbenchers with CBA accounts include: Trevor Evans, Nicolle Flint, Luke Howarth, Craig Kelly, Andrew Laming, Russell Broadbent, Bert van Manen, Andrew Wallace, Jason Wood, Tim Wilson, Ann Sudmalis, Rick Wilson, Ted O'Brien, Kevin Hogan, Andrew Gee, Luke Hartsuyker and Lucy Wicks.
Coalition senators Eric Abetz, Richard Colbeck, Jonathon Duniam, Lucy Gichuhi, Jane Hume, James Paterson and Amanda Stoker also have accounts with CBA.
Anthony Albanese, Mark Dreyfus and Brendan O'Connor are among the 28 Labor MPs who hold CBA accounts.
Other Labor lower house MPs with CBA accounts include Julie Collins, Warren Snowdon, Michelle Rowland, Terri Butler, Shayne Neumann, Andrew Leigh, Rob Mitchell, Ross Hart, Cathy O'Toole, Justine Keay, Matt Keogh, Meryl Swanson, Susan Lamb, Emma McBride, Graham Perrett, Anne Stanley, Maria Vamvakinou and Tim Watts.
Plus Doug Cameron, Anthony Chisholm, Patrick Dodson, Alex Gallacher, Malarndirri McCarthy, Deborah O'Neill and Lisa Singh from Labor's Senate team.
And it's not just politicians from the major parties whose records may have literally fallen off the back of a truck.
Independent MP Bob Katter, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, Centre Alliance (formerly the Nick Xenophon Party) senator Rex Patrick, crossbenchers Derryn Hinch and David Leyonhjelm, and Greens senators Janet Rice and Lee Rhiannon have an account with the CBA.
Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.
Contact Alice Workman at email@example.com.
Paul Farrell is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
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