Senate Banking Chairman Still Mum on Potential Equifax Hearing

By Rob Tricchinelli

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) hasn’t yet decided whether his committee will hold a hearing on the data breach at credit-reporting agency Equifax Inc., in which 143 million users’ personal information was compromised.

The House Financial Services Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee have both announced plans to hold hearings on the breach, and Democrats on Crapo’s panel have asked him to do the same.

“We’re collecting information now, and I’m very interested in the issue but haven’t made a final call on if or when,” Crapo told Bloomberg BNA in a brief interview Sept. 19. “There have been some calls for it, and I’m certainly looking at those. But I want to get the facts first.”

Timing

The Senate Banking Committee, then under the leadership of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), held a September 2016 hearing on Wells Fargo’s fake-account scandal within two weeks of the major enforcement action that regulators announced against the bank.

During that hearing, Wells Fargo’s then-chief executive officer John Stumpf was pilloried by senators from both parties and stepped down from the company a month later.

Some lawmakers are eager to hold Equifax’s feet to the fire in similar fashion, especially with news emerging of an earlier breach at the credit-reporting company, months before the widespread hack, that company officials have said is unrelated.

“We need answers from Equifax, whether they’re from a hearing or whether these executives actually own up to what they did,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), the ranking Democrat on the Banking Committee, told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Tricchinelli in Washington at rtricchinelli@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at MFerullo@bna.com

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