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The Home Depot stores data security breach has cost credit unions in Pennsylvania more than $2 million from costs incurred from reissuing cards, fraudulent charges, and other related expenses according to survey data released from the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Nationally, credit unions spent nearly $60 million to reissue cards, deal with fraud, and cover other costs, according to a new survey of credit unions.

“We know that data breaches cost credit unions millions of dollars every year and this survey provides actual dollar figures for just one particular breach,” said PCUA President and CEO Patrick Conway. “Every dollar spent on data breaches is money that is not spent on enhancing member services. We are urging Congress to pass legislation that forces merchants to increase their security measures and be held accountable for costs incurred by breaches,” said Conway.

The CUNA survey, which asked credit unions to report the effects of the Home Depot breach (first announced Sept. 18), found that 7.2 million credit union debit and credit cards were affected by the breach nationally, including more than 268,000 in Pennsylvania. The results further show that the cost of the violation per card issued by credit unions was $8.02 (which included costs for reissuing new cards, fraud and all other costs — such as additional staffing, member notification, account monitoring and others).

In January, CUNA conducted a similar survey in the wake of a data breach at Target stores in December. That survey found that the Target breach cost credit unions nearly $30 million. The Home Depot breach — at $57.4 million, nearly twice as much as the Target breach — affected more credit union debit and credit cards and the cost per affected card was considerably higher in the case of Home Depot.

Further, the most recent CUNA survey found that —reimbursed for the costs they incurred as a result of the Target breach. Given these facts, it is imperative that Congress act to prevent merchants from allowing their customers’ card information to be compromised.

Credit unions are financial cooperatives that provide affordable financial services to help their owner/members. The Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Credit Union Association is a trade association that provides legislative, promotional, educational, and operational support for credit unions in Pennsylvania. There are 471 credit unions headquartered in Pennsylvania with assets in excess of $38 billion and 3.8 million members. For additional information visit www.ibelong.org.