NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Some of the nation's leading mutual fund companies are disclosing information about their clients, including names, account numbers and home addresses, making those people vulnerable to identity theft, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal, citing its own research and some of the fund companies themselves, said that Pimco, the Dreyfus unit of Mellon Financial Corp. (Research), Bank of America Corp.'s (Research) Columbia Funds, Nuveen Investments, First American Funds, AmSouth Bancorp's (Research) fund unit and the CNI Charter fund unit of City National Bank were all among the fund companies that have made some customer account numbers publicly available on the Internet.
Because of a Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, fund firms are required to disclose the name, address and percentage ownership of any owner of more than 5 percent of a mutual fund, to let shareholders know of anybody who might be in position to control or influence the fund, the report said.
While the SEC requires the disclosure of names and addresses, "the law does not require brokerage account numbers" be disclosed, a spokesman for the agency told the newspaper.
"It is not our policy to disclose account numbers," a spokesman for CNI Charter told the paper, and added that the company is changing customer account numbers and preparing amended filings.