Under Mulvaney, CFPB pulls back on Equifax probe

by Francis Monfort07 Feb 2018
A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigation into the Equifax data breach that exposed the personal data of about 143 million Americans has been put on ice by new bureau leadership, according to a Reuters report.

Three sources told Reuters the CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has not yet ordered initial steps in a routine probe such as ordering subpoenas against the company or seeking sworn testimony from executives. Additionally, the consumer watchdog has put on hold plans for on-the-ground tests into data protection practices at the company.

Former CFPB Director Richard Cordray had supported the idea of on-the-ground testing as well as authorized an investigation into Equifax after the breach was announced, Reuters said, citing former officials familiar with the probe. Cordray left the bureau in November and was replaced by Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s pick as interim leader.

Two sources told Reuters that the CFPB also rejected offers by bank regulators at the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to assist with on-site tests of credit bureaus.

Other sources also told the publication that under Cordray, the bureau had agreed to work with the Federal Trade Commission on an Equifax investigation. Although both agencies have similar investigative powers, only the FTC has issued a subpoena, according to the report.

Equifax has disclosed that it is being investigated by every state attorney general. The company is also facing more than 240 class-action lawsuits, Reuters said.

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