CFPB Forces American Express To Refund $85 Million


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

By Consumers Union on Monday, October 1st, 2012

American Express will refund an estimated $85 million to some 250,000 customers for illegal credit card practices under a settlement announced today by the CFPB.  The company will also pay a penalty of $27.5 million and has agreed to correct its practices.

The CFPB is clearly putting credit card companies on notice that, if you break the law, you’re going to be held accountable.  This is why consumer activists pushed for the creation of a watchdog like this, to stand up for us when credit card companies rip us off.

 The CFPB said the FDIC and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions discovered the illegal activities during a routine examination of an American Express subsidiary, the American Express Centurion Bank. The FDIC transferred portions of the investigation to the CFPB when the Bureau opened last year and the agencies pursued the matter in a joint effort. The CFPB said it later concluded many of the same violations that occurred at American Express Centurion Bank also took place at American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and American Express Bank, FSB.

If you think you are entitled to a refund from AmEx go to the CFPB’s site to learn more. However, if you’re one of the 250,000 customers who are due a refund, you shouldn’t have to take any action. You should see a credit in your account, or if you no longer have an AmEx card, the company is obligated to send you a refund check.


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