The bank details of 200 wealthy people — including 3 UK lottery winners — have been found by the side of the road after apparently falling out of a couriers van.
The details belonged to the customers of finance firm Prudential and included items such as checks and other personal documents that criminals could use to steal the identities of those people.
The documents were found near a access road for Junction 11 of the M4 near Reading by a vehicle recovery driver. The documents were on their way to a secure storage facility in Essex via DHL.
"He (the DHL courier) appears not to have noticed that the door of his van was open and the box appears to have fallen out," said a source close to the incident.
"The Pru (Prudential) is clearly not happy at all. It has suspended all use of DHL until the investigation is concluded."
Prudential have swiftly assured their customers that they will not incur any financial loss from the blunder.
"Protection of our customers' data is of paramount importance to us and we are contacting them immediately," said a spokesman for Prudential.
"The key thing is that none of those customers will suffer any financial loss as a result of this."