The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Bank of America to pay out more than $250 million in fines and refunds for a series of deceptive practices, including illegally charging junk fees. Between 2018 and 2022 the bank charged its customers “non-sufficient fund” fees- like an overdraft fee- multiple times for a single attempted transaction.
In addition to those $150 million in fines, Bank of America will have to pay $80.4 million in refunds to customers who were charged these fees. Then they will pay another $20 million more in payables for some deceptive credit card practices.
CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a news release that Bank of America’s double-dipping on fees, opening accounts without customer consent and withholding rewards “are illegal and undermine customer trust,” practices he said the CFPB will put an end to across the banking system.
He also said that Bank of America lured customers in by offering special cash and bonus points if they signed up for a credit card and then denied them those bonuses. As far back as at least 2012, Bank of America employees illegally applied for and enrolled consumers for credit cards without their knowledge or permission to reach sales-based incentive goals. Employees illegally signed up customers by using or obtaining consumers’ credit reports and completed applications without their permission, which resulted in unjust fees and negative impacts to customers’ credit scores.
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