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Bank of America ordered to pay $250M in restitution and penalties following customer mistreatment



Bank of America will pay more than $250 million in refunds and fines after federal regulators found the company systematically overcharged customers, withheld promised bonuses and opened accounts without customer approval.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found the bank made “substantial additional revenue” for years by repeatedly charging customers $35 overdraft fees on the same transaction.

The bank also denied cash and points bonuses it had pledged to tens of thousands of credit card customers. And starting in 2012, Bank of America employees enrolled customers in credit card accounts without their approval, obtaining credit reports without permission to complete the applications, the bureau said.

“These practices are illegal and undermine customer trust,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement. “The CFPB will be putting an end to these practices across the banking system.”

Bank of America, the nation’s second largest bank, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company faces more than $100 million in restitution to customers, a $90 million fine to the CFPB and another $60 million fine to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

This is not the bank’s first brush with federal regulators over its treatment of customers. The CFPB ordered the company to pay $727 million in 2014 over illegal credit card practices. The company paid another $225 million last year in fines over mishandling state unemployment benefits during the pandemic and a separate $10 million civil penalty over unlawful garnishments.


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