ICBA sues Equifax over data breach

The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) recently files suit against Equifax over its recent breach of 145.5 million consumer records and 209,000 payment cards.

ICBA is seeking to require Equifax compensate all community banks harmed by the breach. The monetary relief would cover costs such as: protective measures to deter customer identity theft, deposit and loan account fraud, customer notification, covering fraudulent transactions, payment card cancellation and replacement, and other expenses.

The suit also calls on the credit reporting agency to improve its security protocols so that they are consistent with legal and regulatory requirements and industry standards to protect personal information and payment card data.

In September, Equifax revealed that the personal information of over 145 million Americans was compromised by hackers, including names, addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and driver’s license information. Equifax CEO Richard Smith resigned in the wake of the scandal.

In the lawsuit, ICBA said the breach occurred because Equifax failed to heed warnings from security experts to secure its website. Further, it waited nearly six weeks to report it to the public.

“ICBA and the nation’s community banks are deeply troubled by the massive and preventable data breach at Equifax and its impact on community banks, consumers, small businesses and the economy,” ICBA President and CEO Camden Fine said. “Today’s lawsuit demands remedial action because Equifax needs to be held accountable for this massive and preventable catastrophic event.”

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Bank of Zachary, Louisiana, and First State Bank in Barboursville, West Virginia, joined ICBA in this suit.

“Community bankers have witnessed firsthand how the Equifax breach has harmed the members of the communities we serve,” Preston Kennedy, ICBA vice chairman and CEO of Bank of Zachary, said.