Bank of America is the latest target of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) and The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) enforcement actions regarding banking practices involving consumer accounts. Bank of America was ordered to pay $100 million to customers, $90 million in penalties to the CFPB. It must also pay $60 million in penalties to the OCC.

Bank of America was found to have engaged in the following wrongful conduct triggering an enforcement action:

  • “double-dipping” on fees imposed on customers for insufficient funds
  • opening accounts without consent
  • withholding credit card rewards

In the enforcement action, the CFPB determined that this conduct impacted “hundreds of thousands of customers” over several years, across multiple product lines and services.

Banking enforcement actions, like enforcement actions in other industries, often trigger private litigation against the regulated entity. For Bank of America, two days after the CFPB announced its order, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against the Bank in U.S. District Court in the Western District of North Carolina, seeking among other things, compensatory and treble damages for opening accounts without customer authorization.

The following table represents large bank enforcement actions for conduct involving customer accounts, including the opening of customer accounts without customer authorization:

July 11, 2023 Bank of America $90m $60m $100m
July 28, 2022 U.S. Bank $37.5m NA
January 3, 2019 USAA Federal Savings Bank $3.5m $12m
February 21, 2020 Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo, N.A. $3b (includes SEC) $500m
September 8, 2016 Wells Fargo, N.A. $100m $35m

Minneapolis-based Kelley, Wolter & Scott, P.A. brings deep experience serving as defense counsel in bank enforcement actions and bank litigation. Contact us to learn more.