CFPB fines Bank of America, shows how agency protects consumers

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Bank ordered to return more than $100 million to customers, pay $150 million penalties

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Tuesday ordered Bank of America to return more than $100 million to customers who were illegally charged multiple “insufficient funds fees” for the same transactions, had credit card rewards points withheld, and had fake credit card accounts opened without their authorization. Additionally, Bank of America was ordered to pay $90 million in penalties to the CFPB and $60 million in penalties to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). 

The CFPB has taken multiple actions against Bank of America for various other questionable activities over the years, including illegal credit card practices, unlawful garnishments and botched disbursement of state unemployment benefits at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG’s Consumer Campaign Director, released the following statement:

“Bank of America is a repeat offender. Being a household name that has been punished before didn’t stop it from allegedly cheating customers out of tens of millions of dollars in fees and credit card rewards and opening up accounts without their authorization. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s strong enforcement action shows why it makes a difference to have a federal agency monitoring the financial marketplace day in and day out. We need the government to ensure that the CFPB continues to get reliably funded to do its one job: protecting consumers.”

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