Mnuchin Presses CFPB For Answers On Equifax Hack

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he has questions for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on its decision to pull back on the probe into last year’s Equifax hack that affected 143 million Americans.

“I haven’t spoken to Director Mulvaney about it, but I will,” Mnuchin told the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, according to Reuters. “It is something I am going to discuss with him.”

A report on Monday said that CFPB’s acting chief, Mick Mulvaney, has decided to put a pin in the full-scale probe of how Equifax failed to protect the personal data of millions of consumers. The hack exposed personal information that included includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, drivers’ license numbers. The company also reported that 209,000 U.S. consumer accounts were accessed by the hackers, as well as certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.

Three sources also said that Mulvaney has not ordered subpoenas against Equifax or sought sworn testimony from executives, and has shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of how Equifax protects data.

In addition, sources said the CFPB recently turned down bank regulators at the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency when they offered to help with on-site exams of credit bureaus.

The news comes as the Trump administration aims to weaken the power of the CFPB, which was created under Obama’s administration as a way to protect consumers from financial industry abuses.

And it appears that Mulvaney is doing everything he can to make sure the CFPB does little while under his rule.

Still, a CFPB spokesman said the agency is still investigating Equifax, but declined to give any details.

“Acting Director Mulvaney takes data security issues very seriously,” CFPB spokesman John Czwartacki said in a statement. “The CFPB is working with our partners across government on Equifax’s data breach.”


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.