WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 -- The Independent Community Bankers of America issued the following news release:
Independent Community Bankers of America(R) (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine today sent a letter to Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard Smith urging the company's leadership to notify affected customers and card issuers immediately of their data breach.
"The Independent Community Bankers of America is appalled to learn of the massive data breach at Equifax involving 143 million American consumers, many of whom are likely customers of community banks," Fine wrote. "As strong stewards of the security of their customers' information, community bankers were deeply concerned to hear about this colossal data breach."
Fine also said that community bank customers have many questions as to whether their information was stolen and what they can do to protect their identities. Likewise, community banks are asking whether the credit cards they issued are part of the breach.
"On behalf of the nation's community banks and their customers, I strongly urge Equifax to immediately notify each of the 143 million American customers and the issuers of the more than 200,000 credit cards of the extent of this breach," Fine wrote. "Consumers who have their identities stolen will face years of difficult identity rebuilding and credit repair. These consumers deserve to know if their information has fallen into the wrong hands so they can take appropriate steps to protect their identities and finances from fraud and theft."
Fine also called on Equifax's leadership to provide ICBA with initial and ongoing briefings regarding the breach's extent and appropriate remedial actions so that the association can facilitate its members in responding to customer inquiries and concerns.
"I am hopeful that you and your leadership will respond to these requests expeditiously," Fine wrote. "The millions of Americans and thousands of community banks affected by this breach deserve such a response."
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