Everyday Americans Get Money Owed by Bank of America Due to Crackdown on Junk Fees
Washington D.C – This month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which fights to ensure everyday American consumers are protected and treated fairly, took legal action against Bank of America, ordering the nation’s second-largest bank to pay more than $100 million to hundreds of thousands of customers for illegal practices like doubling fees, withholding reward bonuses promised to card members, and mishandling personal information of account holders. Bank of America will pay an additional $150 million in penalties and into the CFPB victim relief fund.
This comes amid Congressional Republicans’ push for the Supreme Court to declare the funding mechanism of the CFPB unconstitutional, a decision that would set off a fight in Congress over the future of the CFPB.
Unrig Our Economy campaign director Sarah Baron released the following statement:
“Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest bank, is a repeat offender when it comes to taking advantage of everyday Americans and it’s about time the bank was held accountable. No one is shocked that big banks like BoA, along with so many other big corporations, are actively deceiving everyday people in order to further pad their billion-dollar pockets. It clearly takes the CFPB to crack down on junk fees and similar policies to hold big banks and big corporations accountable for repeatedly trying to pull one over on working Americans. And yet, Congressional Republicans signed on to a lawsuit threatening the CFPB, the bureau successfully making big banks pay what’s owed to their constituents. Why are congressional Republicans more invested in helping predatory banks and corporations scam the American people than they are in fighting for everyday Americans?”
Read more here and find Key Points below:
- Bank of America is the nation’s second largest bank, with about 68 million individual and small business accounts.
- For years, Bank of America had a practice of “double-dipping” on deposit accounts with insufficient funds. This means if a check or other withdrawal didn’t go through because you didn’t have enough money in your account, the bank could have rejected the transaction again and again, charging a $35 fee (known as a non-sufficient funds, or NSF, fee) each time.
- Bank of America advertised bonuses and rewards to credit card customers, and then failed to provide them to everyone who qualified. Signup bonuses to some new customers were also denied.
- Since 2012, Bank of America had a sales incentive program for its employees, rewarding them when they met goals for opening new credit card accounts. Some employees opened credit cards for customers who never applied for or agreed to the new accounts. Customers might have incurred fees or had damage to their credit reports as a result.
- Recently, the CFPB took action against Bank of America for breaking federal laws that apply to financial products, including bank accounts and credit cards. The bank is required to pay more than $100 million to customers who were harmed, plus a $90 million fine that goes to the CFPB victims relief fund and another $60 million penalty paid to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.