Privacy Notice

1. Your right to privacy

Your right to privacy is important to us. Ecology Building Society is the data controller responsible for the safe keeping of your personal information and we are committed to protecting your privacy.

This Privacy Notice describes the ways in which we collect your information, how we may use it and with whom we share and obtain your details from. It was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind and therefore does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of the Society’s collection and use of personal information. If you require any further information or explanation, please contact the Society’s Data Protection Officer at Ecology Building Society, 7 Belton Road, Silsden, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 0EE.

This Privacy Notice does not extend to external websites accessed from the Society’s site. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

2. Data protection legislation

The Society fully complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, which protects the rights and freedoms of individuals about whom personal information is processed.

Further information on the Act is available on the Information Commissioner’s Office website www.ico.org.uk. You can also view the Society’s registration as a data controller on the Information Commissioner’s Office website under registration number Z5798250.

3. Information we hold about you

To enable us to provide you with an account or service, we require certain personal information about you. This includes:

• Your personal details e.g. your name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address, National Insurance number and bank account details

• Depending on the account or services you apply for, we may also record additional personal information such as your income, employment details, financial commitments, or details of a credit search

• Records of our contact with you e.g. system notes, correspondence or emails

• Information for accounts you hold with us or have previously held with us and the transactions on those accounts

• Cookies which track your activity on our website

We will not be able to provide you with an account or service if you do not supply us with the necessary information to do so, or if you do not give us your permission to process your information.

Most of this personal information will be provided by you at the time you make your application; however, there may be times when we need to seek further information from the following sources, where appropriate:

• Your representatives e.g. financial adviser, employer, landlord or letting agent, or any attorney appointed to act on your behalf

• Industry databases such as credit reference agencies

• Our representatives/agents e.g. debt recovery agents

• Organisations to assist in the prevention and detection of crime

• Public directories e.g. the electoral register

We record activity on our premises using CCTV for crime prevention purposes.

4. How we use your information

We will use your information:

• To verify your identity when you apply for an account

• To assess your application for an account. If you are applying for a mortgage, this will include assessing lending and fraud risks and credit scoring

• To open and then administer your account

• To update our customer records

• To respond to any query or complaint that you may raise with us

• To carry out research and statistical analysis to enable us to improve our products and services

• To test computer systems to ensure the continuing security and integrity of our systems

• For crime prevention and for legal and regulatory compliance

• To identify and let you know about other relevant products and services that we offer directly or via like-minded organisations that we think may be of interest to you

5. Who we share your information with

There are some instances in which we will have to pass your personal information on to third parties or receive information about you from third parties. Whenever this happens, strict confidentiality conditions are always imposed. This includes:

5.1 Confirming your identity

We are required by law to verify the identity of every applicant who applies for an account with the Society. Where possible, we will try and do this electronically by using the services of specialist external agencies. If we are unable to validate your identity in this way, you will need to provide certain documents to confirm your identity.

If you are an existing customer, we may on occasions need you to re-confirm your identity, for example, if you apply for another account or change your name.

5.2 Credit checking

If you apply for a mortgage with us, we will contact a credit reference agency for details of your credit history. The agency will keep a record of our enquiry (‘search’) and your application, whether or not this is successful.

Once your mortgage account is open, we will provide the credit reference agency with details of how you conduct your account. Other lenders may access this record if you apply to them for credit.

The credit reference agency we normally use is Callcredit Plc, One Park Lane, Leeds LS3 1EP.

Please note that if you are applying for a joint account, the credit reference agency will make an association linking the financial records of the applicants. This may be taken into account in future applications by either or all of you, unless you successfully file a disassociation at the credit reference agency.

If you would like to see the information that the credit reference agency holds about you, please contact them directly. Please note that there may be a charge for this service.

5.3 Fraud prevention and detection

We are required by Money Laundering Regulations to collect and record personal data to confirm a customer’s identity.

To protect us against any fraudulent or other criminal activity we may check your details against, and share information with, fraud prevention agencies who maintain and share information on known and suspected fraudulent activity, such as Action Fraud.

We are required by law to report any suspicious transactions to the National Crime Agency, the police and other law enforcement agencies for crime detection and prevention purposes.

5.4 Statutory reporting

We are required to provide information to HM Revenue & Customs about you and your savings accounts, including interest paid or charged. HM Revenue & Customs also has the right to audit our members’ accounts at any given time.

5.5 Market research

To improve our products and services, we use specialist third parties who may contact you on our behalf to conduct research or analysis. These firms will not use your information for any other purpose or share your data with other third parties.

5.6 Other occasions where we may be required to share your information

We may share your information with:

• Financial Ombudsman Service

• Regulatory authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority

• Department for Work & Pensions

• Internal and external audit services

• Mailing houses, printers, and marketing agents

• Contractors and consultants who develop and test systems

• Providers of information for technology services

• Data processors who act on our behalf

• Trade associations such as the Building Societies Association and the Council of Mortgage Lenders

If you are applying for a mortgage with the Society, or already have a mortgage with us, we may share your information with:

• Your employer to confirm your employment/income

• Your mortgage intermediary/broker (where you have used one)

• Legal representatives acting on behalf of you, the Society, or both

• Chartered surveyors for property valuations

• A guarantor of your mortgage or their legal advisor (where you have used one)

Occasionally we, or our suppliers, may transfer data to countries outside of the European Economic Area. These countries may not have the same standard of data protection laws as we do here in the UK. In these circumstances, we will take the necessary steps to ensure that the transfer of your data is in line with the UK data protection requirements, and that your personal information is treated securely, and protected to a similar standard.

6. Visitors to our website
6.1 Google Analytics

When someone visits www.ecology.co.uk we use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

6.2 Content management of our website

We use a third party content management system to publish our website. This system collects anonymous information about users’ activity on the site, for example the number of users viewing pages on the site, to monitor and report on the effectiveness of the site and help us improve it. Where a visitor wishes to post a comment on the site, a name and email address is required.

6.3 Use of cookies

Our website uses cookies to improve the user experience.
Cookies are small files, usually consisting of letters and numbers, which are put on your computer (or other device) by websites that you visit. Cookies are used very widely for a number of reasons - some are essential to the working of the website or help the website work more efficiently, and others provide information to the owners of the website.

More information on the Society’s Cookies Policy can be found here.

6.4 Security and performance of our website

We use a third party service to help maintain the security and performance of the Society’s website. To deliver this service, it processes the IP addresses of visitors to the Society’s website.

7. Job applicants, current and former employees

When individuals apply to work at the Society, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party e.g. by taking up a reference or requesting a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, we will not do so without first informing them unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, after which it will be destroyed or deleted. We retain de-personalised statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

Once an individual takes up employment with the Society, we will compile a file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept secure and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that individual’s employment. Once their employment with the Society has ended, we will retain the file in accordance with the requirements of our record retention schedule and then delete or destroy it.

8. Emails
8.1 People who email us

If you send an email to us, please be aware that email is not a secure method of communication and we strongly recommend that you do not send confidential information this way.

For members who have registered with Ecology Interactive, we would recommend that you use this secure service to communicate confidential information with the Society. Alternatively speak to a member of staff to agree the best way to proceed.

Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with our internal policies. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law.

8.2 Newsletters and e-newsletters

We use a third party provider to deliver our newsletter and e-newsletter. We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies to help us monitor and improve our newsletter and e-newsletter.

9. Call monitoring and recording

Your telephone conversations with the Society may be recorded for security and fraud prevention purposes, and to meet regulatory requirements. Recordings are kept secure to prevent unauthorised access and the calls may be monitored for staff training and customer service purposes.

10. Accessing or changing your personal information

If any information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date, please let us know and we will correct it.

You have the right to request access to the personal information we hold about you. This is known as a Subject Access Request. Subject Access Requests must be made in writing to the Society’s Data Protection Officer at Ecology Building Society, 7 Belton Road, Silsden, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 0EE.

11. Unsubscribing from marketing

If you do not wish to receive marketing information from us, please email [email protected], write to us at 7 Belton Road, Silsden, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 0EE or select the unsubscribe link if you no longer wish to receive our marketing emails.

You will continue to receive statutory information such as notice of the AGM, account statements, and changes to your account terms and conditions or interest rate.

The Society never makes its customer details available to other organisations for their own marketing purposes.

12. Changes to this Privacy Notice

We keep our Privacy Notice under regular review. This Privacy Notice was last updated on 7 November 2016.