Citizens Bank to pay $9M CMP for credit card servicing violations
The CFPB and Citizens Bank, N.A. have agreed to the entry of a Stipulated Final Judgment and Order, to settle and resolve all matters in dispute arising from the bank's conduct alleged in the CFPB's Complaint, in which it is alleged that Citizens failed to:
- reasonably investigate and appropriately resolve billing error notices and claims of unauthorized use by automatically denying such claims for failure to return a fraud affidavit;
- credit consumers’ accounts for fees and finance charges when unauthorized use and billing errors occurred;
- provide consumers with required acknowledgment and denial notices regarding billing error notices; and
- disclose required credit counseling information to consumers when consumers called the toll-free number designated for such purpose.
If entered by the court, the stipulated judgment and order would require Citizens Bank to:
- Fix its credit card practices: Citizens Bank must ensure that the treatment, handling, and resolution of billing error notices and unauthorized use claims comply with the law, including prohibiting its employees from requiring customers to provide a fraud affidavit signed under penalty of perjury in support of a credit card claim. The bank must also ensure that it refunds any fees or other amounts, calculated from the date of the error or unauthorized use, in response to valid billing error notices and unauthorized use claims.
- Pay a $9 million fine: The bank will pay a $9 million penalty to the CFPB’s victims relief fund.