As former Equifax CEO Richard Smith addressed a Congressional hearing to discuss a breach, someone dressed as the iconic Rich Uncle Pennybags sat in the background. Pennybags appearance is a protest of the financial industry arbitration rules.
Monopoly’s portly character was an old man depicted with a mustache wearing a morning suit and top hat.
The Equifax breach impacted more than 145 million people. Smith has claimed, “full responsibility” for the hacks. The attack exposed personally identifiable information.
The Monopoly man is intended to get attention to the ‘forced’ arbitration clauses in the financial industry. Because it forces arbitration, people are limited in their ability to take their cases to court.
According to Amanda Werner of Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, “Arbitration is a rigged game…”
“Bank lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the CFPB’s rule so they can continue to rip off consumers with impunity.” Werner in emailed statement
Werner compares the financial industry to the game Monopoly where players can use ‘get out of jail free cards.’
When it first announced the breach in September, Equifax offered a credit monitoring service that required consumers to accept arbitration to settle disputes, something it has since removed. Smith has said that the arbitration requirement was a mistake.