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Bank Of America Agrees To Refunds And Fines In Credit Card Case


Not so good news for another bank. Bank of America, which is on the hook for nearly $800 million in fines and refunds. That's to settle allegations from credit card holders, of deceptive marketing and unfair billing. Regulators say nearly three million credit card holders were affected. The settlement is a major victory for a young federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Seventy hundred and seventy two million dollars. It's the largest amount the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has gotten a bank to pay in its short history.

The CFPB is a consumer watchdog agency that Congress created during the financial crisis. The agency only got up and running about three years ago. About 45 million of the Money Bank of America is paying is for fines, and the rest is for repaying consumers.

Capital One, American Express, Discover and JPMorgan Chase have all had to pay fines for credit card add-ons - this one's the biggest. The agency says B of A misled consumers about credit protection plans that let you suspend your minimum payment if you get sick or lose your job.

The agency says the bank also billed customer for identity protection before they received any, and didn't give some customers the fraud protection they thought they were buying. And, they allege the bank billed customers for protection plans without getting their authorization.

In a statement, Bank of America doesn't admit to wrong doing, but it says the majority of customers have already gotten their refunds.

Sonari Glinton, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sonari Glinton
Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk Correspondent based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for NPR and Planet Money.