WASHINGTON (12/27/13)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced two new actions intended to restore consumers that the bureau claims have suffered illegal treatment at the hands of financial services providers.
Most recently, the CFPB announced an enforcement action with orders requiring three American Express subsidiaries to refund an estimated $85 million to approximately 250,000 customers for illegal card practices.
The regulator charges that its action is the result of a multi-part federal investigation which, it claims, found that at "every stage of the consumer experience, from marketing to enrollment to payment to debt collection, American Express violated consumer protection laws."
In the other action, the CFPB joined forces with the U.S. Department of Justice to file a joint complaint against National City Bank (NCB) for allegedly "charging higher prices on mortgage loans to African-American and Hispanic borrowers than similarly creditworthy white borrowers between the years 2002 and 2008."
The joint action marks the first lawsuit brought in federal court by the CFPB and the DOJ to enforce federal fair lending laws. On Dec. 6, 2012, the CFPB and the DOJ forged a formal agreement meant to bring strong coordination between the two agencies on fair lending enforcement, including the pursuit of joint investigations such as this one.
The agencies also filed a proposed order to settle the complaint that requires NCB, through its successor PNC Bank, to pay $35 million in restitution to harmed African-American and Hispanic borrowers.