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Bank of America must pay its customers more than $100 million for repeat fees and account openings without approval

Bank of America must pay its customers more than $100 million for repeat fees and account openings without approval

By Michelle Chapman News agency

Financial institution Bank of America will have to pay more than $100 million to its customers to double some fees, withhold bonus rewards and open accounts without their consent.

The Office of Financial Protection reported Tuesday that Bank of America will pay $90 million in fines to its organization and $60 million in fines to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which determined that imposing the double fees was illegal. consumer.

File photo of a man at a Bank of America ATM on April 24, 2023 in San Francisco.Jeff Chew/AP

Bank of America, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, serves 68 million people and small businesses. The bank had $2.4 trillion in consolidated assets and $1.9 trillion in domestic deposits as of March 31, making it the second largest bank in the United States.

Bank of America had a policy of charging customers $35 when they declined a transaction due to insufficient funds in the account, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which determined that the bank allowed the fee to be charged twice for the same transaction.

The bank said it voluntarily reduced overdraft fees and waived all insufficient funds fees in the first half of last year.

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Bank of America also offered cash rewards and rewards points to people when they signed up for a card, but the regulatory agency accused the bank of illegally withholding promised rewards to credit card accounts.

Authorities said that since at least 2012, Bank of America employees have illegally signed up consumers for credit cards without their knowledge or authorization.

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“Bank of America improperly withheld credit card rewards, doubled fees and opened accounts without approval,” said Rohit Chopra, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “These practices are illegal and undermine customer confidence,” he added.

In 2014, the agency ordered Bank of America to pay $727 million for illegal credit card practices. Last year, he was ordered to pay a $10 million civil fine for illegal liens.

Also in 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency fined Bank of America $225 million and required it to pay hundreds of millions in restitution to consumers for erroneous benefit payments. Unemployment benefits at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.