Home > Uncategorized > $3 Million Penalty Assessed Against American Express Bank by OCC For Unfair Billing and Deceptive Marketing Practices

$3 Million Penalty Assessed Against American Express Bank by OCC For Unfair Billing and Deceptive Marketing Practices

The latest  news from the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC)…

If you aren’t familiar with the OCC, check out the website

Pursuant to the OCC’s mission statement on its website, “The OCC’s primary mission is to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks and federal savings associations.” [The OCC’s] goal in supervising banks and federal savings associations is to ensure that they operate in a safe and sound manner and in compliance with laws requiring fair treatment of their customers and fair access to credit and financial products.

 

On December 19, 2013, the OCC penalized American Express Bank for Unfair Billing and Deceptive Marketing Practices, and further ordered restitution to bank customers.

 

According to the Stipulation and Consent entered into by American Express Bank:

From October 2009 to July 2012, the Bank, through its vendors, billed customers of identity protection products who were not receiving public records monitoring, credit monitoring, and/or credit report retrieval services for the full fee of the product, even though those customers were not receiving all of the benefits of the product.”

By reason of the foregoing billing practices for its identity protection products as described in Paragraphs (1) to (3) of this Article, the Bank engaged in unfair practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1).

As a result, American Express Bank agreed to a civil penalty in the amount of $3 million.

According to the OCC, “The $3 million civil money penalty reflects a number of factors, including the scope and duration of the violations and financial harm to consumers from the unfair and deceptive practices.  The penalty will be paid to the U.S. Treasury.”

 

The Consent Order contains a detailed action plan for the bank to comply with, including how it plans on providing restitution to bank customers.

Quite a lengthy process.

 

 

Questions? Comments? I’d like to hear.

 

email: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

http://www.dwlawpc.com

 

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