CFPB Cracks Down on U.S. Bank’s Crummy Practices

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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Salt Lake City U.S. Bank by Ricardo360 – Wikimedia Creative Commons

Nearly half a million U.S. Bank customers will get money back for the bank’s bad habit of selling consumers services that it did not provide, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today.

The CFPB is ordering U.S. Bank to return $48 million to the 420,000 customers it enrolled in identity protection and credit monitoring services without authorization. The CFPB reports that consumers were sold these products as part of their credit cards or other U.S. Bank products such as mortgages and checking accounts. The problem was that these sales were not authorized by consumers, and consequently, consumers were never enrolled though U.S. Bank still billed them. In other words, people paid for something they didn’t get.

U.S. Bank is returning affected consumers’ money. In order to get their refunds, consumers do not have to do anything. Current U.S. Bank customers will receive a credit to their accounts. Former U.S. Bank customers will get a check in the mail. (You can read more about the enforcement action here.)

This is just the most recent CFPB enforcement action against a credit card company. Since 2011, through a series of enforcement actions, the CFPB has returned more than a billion dollars to consumers ripped-off by bad credit card industry practices. Problems included selling payment protection plans that offered no protection at all, charging unlawful late fees, unlawful discrimination, failure to report consumer disputes to the credit bureaus and misleading customers in relation to debt collection, to name just a few.

The CFPB’s enforcement actions against credit card companies show that despite credit card reform, problems persist. We’re glad there’s a cop on the beat for consumers, and we support continued enforcement actions by the CFPB against bad actors.

Do you have a credit card problem?

The CFPB helps consumers resolve problems. If you have a complaint about your credit card – or just about any other financial service – you can submit it to the CFPB here.

While we don’t assist consumers directly, we here at CU collect consumer stories so that we know what’s going on the marketplace. If you have a credit card story, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your story here.

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