Three U.S. senators — Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii — revealed that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received more than 20,000 consumer complaints following the Equifax breach.
The trio released a comprehensive review of consumer complaints finding that in the six months after the breach, the CFPB received more than 20,000 complaints from consumers about the impact of the breach, problems with Equifax’s response, or other issues with the company. The number of complaints about Equifax nearly doubled after the breach, according to the report.
“This sheer number of complaints we found makes the case for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to act aggressively to hold Equifax accountable,” Schatz said in a statement. “Because of Equifax’s mistakes, people have lost jobs. They’ve lost access to their finances. They’ve been given the runaround when they tried to ask for help. These are the kinds of problems the Bureau was created to fix, but we are not seeing the kind of action you would expect from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That needs to change, immediately.”
The senators sent their report to Leandra English, the deputy CFPB director, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting director, who is also head of the Office of Management and Budget. The senators pressed them to hold Equifax accountable and protect consumers from future data security breaches.
“Consumers are asking the CFPB for help about Equifax nearly twice as often as they did before the recent data breach — but Mick Mulvaney wants to make it easier for big financial institutions to get away with cheating people,” Warren said in a statement. “Instead of using the CFPB to coddle credit reporting agencies and hide financial misconduct from the public, Mr. Mulvaney needs to let the Bureau do its job and protect the 145 million Americans harmed by this massive breach.”
In the letter accompanying the report, the senators raised concerns about reports that at an American Bankers Association summit, Mulvaney indicated that he would soon order that key parts of the CFPB complaints database be kept secret and unavailable to the public.