Pressure intensifies on Bloomberg after new 'snooping' scandal twist

Bloomberg apologised after the financial news agency let its reporters access clients' information

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The Independent Online

The Bloomberg “snooping” scandal widened today after the Bank of Japan said it was seeking details about which information the news company had allowed its journalists access too.

A spokesman for Bank of Japan confirmed: “We are now contacting Bloomberg and are in the process of confirming the facts of the situation.”

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority did not say it has contacted the firm but said: “We’re aware of the reported incident and are looking into it.”

Both statements seem to pile pressure on an organisation that has always considered high ethics to be a strong part of its business.

The furore began after it was revealed that Goldman Sachs had made a complaint about journalists trying to glean information from the terminals about its staff.

Goldman Sachs acted after a reporter investigating the possible departure of an employee told the firm that the person had not logged into a Bloomberg terminal for weeks.

JP Morgan reportedly was also targeted.

The European Central Bank, Brazil’s central bank and the US Federal Reserve have all said they were looking into any possible breaches in the confidentiality of data related to Bloomberg terminals. The Federal Reserve is looking into whether its chairman, Ben Bernanke, was one of those tracked.

Bloomberg has already said it was an “inexcusable” error to allow its reporters to monitor the activities of clients on its terminals.

Bloomberg editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler apologised in a blog post, entitled “Holding Ourselves Accountable”, on Monday.

“We are defined by our words — and they applied to us when a Bloomberg LP customer expressed concern. Our client is right,” Winkler said. Bloomberg says it has now switched off its journalists’ access to the data. It has 315,000 global subscribers