Mnuchin wants to know how consumer bureau is handling Equifax breach

Casey Dawson
February 7, 2018

Reuters reports that CFPB head Mick Mulvaney has walked away from the regulator's authorized investigation into the matter. This was the breach that made headlines late previous year and resulted in the compromise of personal data for 143 million Americans.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, wrote FTC leadership on Tuesday urging the agency to broaden its Equifax investigation after Reuters reported over the weekend that the CFPB's probe has effectively been put on ice.

However, it wouldn't be a surprise if Mulvaney made a decision to favor the financial industry over a federal agency created to financially protect American consumers. "A full and fair FTC investigation now appears to be the only way that we will determine the steps needed to prevent similar attacks in the future", wrote Ms. Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting praised his counterpart at the CFPB "for realigning his agency's mission to the current needs of the nation, making its processes more transparent and fair".

Senator Baldwin has been calling for stronger accountability for Equifax.

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The CFPB's former director, Richard Cordray, said on Twitter "if you're not going to stand up for consumers on something this important, then what good are you?" Mulvaney has said he would be reviewing all of the CFPB ongoing enforcement cases before they moved forward. Mulvaney has also dropped a lawsuit against payday lenders and said the agency would reconsider rules the financial industry complained would be particularly onerous.

The bureau refused to comment on the revelations, it only said that it was "looking into" the breach and the agency's "response" to it.

Mulvaney has laid out a sweeping plan for remaking the CFPB, which has always been criticized by Republicans for being too aggressive.

"I haven't spoken to Director Mulvaney about it but I will", Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee, referring to CFPB chief Mick Mulvaney. In a memo to his staff this week, Mulvaney said the agency would act with "humility and prudence" and no longer "push the envelope".

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