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Fifth Third sued by CFPB

The CFPB has announced its filing of a complaint in federal district court in the Northern District of Illinois against Fifth Third Bank, National Association, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Bureau alleges that for several years Fifth Third, without consumers’ knowledge or consent, opened deposit and credit-card accounts in consumers’ names; transferred funds from consumers’ existing accounts to new, improperly opened accounts; enrolled consumers in unauthorized online-banking services; and activated unauthorized lines of credit on consumers’ accounts. The Bureau specifically alleges that for years and continuing through at least 2016, Fifth Third used a “cross-sell” strategy to increase the number of products and services it provided to existing customers; used an incentive-compensation program to reward selling new products; and conditioned employee-performance ratings and, in some instances, continued employment on meeting ambitious sales goals. The Bureau further alleges that, despite knowing since at least 2008 that employees were opening unauthorized consumer-financial accounts, Fifth Third took insufficient steps to detect and stop the conduct and to identify and remediate harmed consumers.

The Bureau's complaint seeks injunctive relief, redress for affected consumers, and a civil money penalty, but is not a finding or ruling that Fifth Third has violated the law.

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