Its a requirement for a financial institution to check when a new customer is taken on to ensure their details are correct, to prevent fraud etc. However, doing this via a third party is idiotic, there have been cases where people cannot open accounts because the third party organisation has effective data.
Then we have the issue where they loose data to hackers.
Bonafide financial organisations, vetted by the FCA, should allow inter financial organisation verifications, cutting out the third party organisations completely. There is no need for these organisations.
BTW aren't Equifax involved with HMRC in some new contract?