Community banks file lawsuit against Equifax

Community banks file lawsuit against Equifax
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The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Equifax demanding that the credit bureau be held accountable for a data breach of nearly 146 million consumer records.

The ICBA’s lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, asks Equifax to compensate all community banks harmed by the breach and to improve its security to avoid more damage.

“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,” said Camden Fine, ICBA president and CEO.

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“Today’s lawsuit demands remedial action because Equifax needs to be held accountable for this massive and preventable catastrophic event," Fine said. 

Bank of Zachary in Zachary, La., and First State Bank in Barboursville, W.Va., joined the suit with the ICBA.

The lawsuit seeks relief for all community banks affected by the breach for a variety of costs such as protective measures to stop identity theft and fraudulent transactions.

The ICBA also is insisting that Equifax use adequate security protocols "consistent with legal and regulatory requirements" to protect consumer information and payment card data.

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

The ICBA’s lawsuit says that the breach, which became public in September, happened because Equifax failed to heed warnings about their security vulnerabilities and didn't devote the resources needed to stop the breach. 

In the past week, consumers from around the country filed a class action lawsuit against Equifax in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

That suit says that the stolen data led to attempts to fraudulently use consumer information, such as filing mortgage applications and making charges on on credit cards.