Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest bank, has faced actions from the CFPB for violations of federal laws. The bank is to pay more than $100 million to customers and in fines. If you’re a customer, you might have been affected, and certain reimbursements may apply to you.
Understanding the Charges Against Bank of America
Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has enforced action against Bank of America. The bank, the nation’s second-largest with around 68 million individual and small business accounts, violated federal laws relating to financial products like bank accounts and credit cards. Consequently, Bank of America has been required to pay more than $100 million to customers who were harmed. Additionally, a $90 million fine is to be paid to the CFPB victims’ relief fund, and a $60 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Implications for Bank of America Customers
If you are a Bank of America customer, you may be wondering if and how you have been affected by these developments. Here is some information to help you understand whether you may have been harmed, what refunds and reimbursements to expect, and what else to keep an eye out for.
Refunds and Reimbursements
Bank of America customers fitting certain descriptions can expect payments. Actions aren’t necessary to receive the money. Some customers have already received their payments, while former customers will receive theirs in the mail.
Bank Account Customers
Customers who were overcharged fees due to insufficient funds can expect refunds. Bank of America had a practice of “double-dipping” on deposit accounts with insufficient funds, resulting in multiple charges of a $35 fee known as a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee.
Bank of America stopped charging NSF fees last year, refunding millions in dollars to affected customers. Therefore, customers who were charged multiple fees might have already had some of the money returned to their bank accounts.
The bank is mandated to stop “double-dipping” permanently and refund more than $80 million to customers. If you are one of those customers, the refund will be made directly to your account. Former Bank of America customers will receive refunds in the mail. The bank has also set up a dedicated customer service center to handle inquiries.
Credit Card Customers
Bank of America promised rewards points and cash bonuses to credit card customers but failed to provide them to all who qualified. The bank will need to correct these discrepancies.
Rewards and bonus points have been credited to many affected customers already.
Bank of America must clearly state who is and isn’t eligible for their advertised offers and promotions. If they haven’t yet provided the correct points and rewards, they must credit these accurately.
Unauthorized Credit Card Customers
Since 2012, Bank of America has incentivized its employees to open new credit card accounts, sometimes without customer approval. The bank must take action to rectify this.
The sales incentive program is now paused, and the bank has reimbursed some affected customers.
Bank of America is required to stop opening unauthorized accounts and remove such entries from credit reports. They must also reimburse any costs that customers incurred as a result of these unauthorized accounts.
Steps for Customers to Resolve Problems
Customers should first try to resolve problems directly with Bank of America. If unresolved, complaints can be submitted to the CFPB. Whistleblowers can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bank of America violated federal laws relating to financial products.
- Refunds and reimbursements are expected for certain Bank of America customers.
- The bank must rectify its practices and improve transparency.
- Customers can take steps to resolve issues directly or through the CFPB.