CYBERSECURITY
Justice probing data breach, Target says

Target said Monday that the Justice Department is investigating the credit and debit card security breach at the retailer.

The investigation comes after Target revealed last week that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts were stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The Justice Department declined to comment on whether it’s investigating the breach at Target, the nation’s second-largest discounter. But Target said that it’s cooperating with the probe.

The news came as Target also said it is working with the Secret Service in the retailer’s own investigation and that its general counsel held a conference call Monday with state attorneys general to bring them up to date on the breach.

“Target remains committed to sharing information about the recent data breach with all who are impacted,” said Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman.

Target has been trying to deal with fallout from the breach during what is typically the busiest shopping season of the year. By Monday evening, more than a dozen Target customers had filed federal lawsuits across the country, with some accusing Target of negligence in failing to protect customer data.

— Associated Press

BANKING
Group threatens suit over Volcker rule

The American Bankers Association said Monday that it will mount a legal challenge to the “Volcker rule” unless U.S. banking regulators soften a provision that restricts bank ownership of certain investments.

“If the rule is not suspended, we will shortly file a lawsuit challenging the rule . . . and seeking emergency relief,” Frank Keating, chief executive of the ABA, wrote in a letter to regulators.

At issue is a provision of the rule that prohibits banks from owning more than 3 percent of any individual hedge fund or ­private-equity fund and bars banks from investing more than 3 percent of their total equity capital in private funds.

The ABA’s letter, sent to the heads of the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., is the latest in a back-and-forth of public statements between the trade group and regulators.

It comes a few days after the central bank and agencies told the banks that they do not immediately need to sell off the assets in question. Instead, the banks will have until July 2015 to decide if their investments are permissible under the Volcker rule.

“The ABA has informed us of its intention to file suit. We will review the suit when it is filed, confer with the other agencies and determine a response,” a Fed spokeswoman said. Spokesmen for the FDIC and OCC declined to comment.

Named for former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, the rule was required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. It seeks to limit the type of risk-taking by banks that got them in trouble in the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

— Reuters

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