Abbey has been forced to apologise after it sent a letter to a one-year-old girl informing her that she was eligible for a £20,000 loan.
Mum Donna Bartlett was astonished to discover that the letter to her daughter Daisy was inviting her to take such a large sum.
Finance providers have recently taken much criticism over their marketing of homeowner loans and unsecured lending, and are under pressure to prove that they do so responsibly.
“Maybe the house could do with a lick of paint or perhaps you just want to splash out on something special like a holiday,” read the letter.
“Which is why a loan of up to £20,000 would come in very handy. You could use the money to treat yourself right now. Or you could use it to transfer any debts and bills into one affordable loan.”
Ms Bartlett said that she was far from impressed that a mainstream lender was marketing debt without making more background checks.
“There’s a lot of pressure on people to buy now and pay later and this kind of thing, although it’s a mistake, isn’t going to help matters,” she said.
“Perhaps things do need to be checked more carefully before they are sent out to children like Daisy.”
The mistake arose after Ms Bartlett opened a £40 savings account in her baby’s name, leading the Abbey computer into identifying her as a customer.
“There were a small number of children offered a personal loan rather than their parents,” said an Abbey spokeswoman.
“It was a database error and we have apologised to parents and the problem has now been rectified.”
© Adfero Ltd