US Bank has been fined $9 million by two federal agencies and ordered to refund $48 million to customers who were wrongly billed because of identity theft.
More than 420,000 consumers who signed up for credit monitoring products (including theft protection) from 2003 to 2012 were charged for services that they did not receive the full benefits of, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Regulators have said that customers were billed for services that they never received and were subject to unfair fees (often pushing customers above their credit limits).
Dana Ripley, a spokesman of US Bank said:
“We regret that errors occurred when our customers purchased credit monitoring and identity theft products from a third-party vendor, Affinion and its subsidiary Trilegiant, and that some of our customers did not receive the full benefit of those products.”
“As soon as we became aware of the issues with Affinion, we took swift action to protect our customers, and ultimately, discontinued our relationship with Affinion approximately two years ago. We will be compensating customers who did not receive full services from Affinion, and providing our apology.”
The fines represent yet another sanction made against a major bank for billing so called credit “add-ons”. Bank of of America Corp. had to pay $722 million in fines and refunds in April and JPMorgan Chase & Co. similarly had to pay out $80 million in fines and $309 million in refunding consumers for add ons.
US Bank issued a statement and issue of apology, which said:
“US Bank adheres to the highest levels of ethical business practices to ensure that customers confidently receive quality products and services from their bank.”