Report: CFPB employee sent confidential consumer data to private email

A former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employee forwarded confidential information on thousands of consumers and 45 financial firms to a private email account, the Wall Street Journal reported today. An agency spokesman told the newspaper is there is no evidence the information was shared beyond the email account.

The employee transferred records containing personal information on approximately 256,000 consumers at one financial institution as well as the supervisory information for dozens of firms, the Journal reported. The agency spokesman said the data was primarily in the form of two spreadsheets with names and transaction-specific account numbers used internally by the institution, but included no bank account numbers and couldn’t be used to access accounts. The CFPB told the former staffer to delete the emails and show proof of compliance. The person has not complied with the demands, the agency said.

Agency officials notified lawmakers about the incident on March 21, according to the Journal. Republican lawmakers are pressing CFPB Director Rohit Chopra for more details. A spokeswoman for Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told the newspaper that the agency “followed protocols by notifying relevant committees of the breach” and has referred the matter to a government watchdog.