Bank of America Slapped with $150 Million Penalties for Deceptive Practices

Key Insights

  • Bank of America has been found guilty of deceptive practices that harmed numerous customers.
  • The bank charged multiple overdraft fees for the same transaction.
  • Bank of America has been ordered to pay a total of $150 million in penalties.

Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the United States based on assets, has come under fire for engaging in deceptive practices that have harmed a significant number of its customers in recent years.

Consumer protection bureau exposes Bank of America’s unethical conduct

On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shed light on the bank’s actions, revealing that Bank of America had charged multiple $35 overdraft fees for a single transaction, failed to appropriately distribute rewards to credit card users, and even enrolled customers in card accounts without obtaining their consent.

These practices, as stated by the CFPB, are in direct violation of the law and have severely undermined customer trust.

As a consequence of its misconduct, Bank of America has been ordered to pay substantial penalties totaling $150 million to the CFPB and another regulatory body, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Furthermore, the bank is obligated to provide approximately $80.4 million in restitution to customers who have been unfairly subjected to illegitimate fees.

It is important to note that Bank of America has already disbursed $23 million to customers who were unjustly denied card awards, thus emphasizing the extent of the harm caused.

Bank of America takes voluntary measures to address the issue

In response to these allegations, Bill Halldin, a spokesperson for Bank of America, stated that the bank had taken voluntary measures to address the issue.

In the first half of 2022, Bank of America proactively reduced overdraft fees and eliminated all non-sufficient fund fees. As a result of these efforts, the bank experienced a staggering 90% decrease in revenue derived from these fees.

While this response shows a commitment to rectifying the situation, it does not absolve Bank of America of the consequences of its actions.

This announcement serves as a stark reminder that the practices exposed during the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal in 2016 were not isolated to a single institution. Although Wells Fargo has faced regulatory repercussions for its sales-focused culture that led to the creation of 3.5 million fraudulent accounts, it is clear that other banks, including U.S. Bank, have also fallen short in this regard. U.S. Bank was fined $37.5 million last year for enrolling customers in unauthorized accounts, thus echoing the need for increased oversight and regulation within the banking industry as a whole.

Ultimately, the CFPB’s actions against Bank of America underscore the importance of ensuring ethical practices and restoring customer confidence across the banking system. By holding financial institutions accountable for their misdeeds, regulators are working towards creating a fair and transparent banking environment that prioritizes the best interests of customers.

Can Bank of America’s voluntary measures to address the issue of deceptive practices, such as reducing overdraft fees and eliminating non-sufficient fund fees, be seen as a genuine commitment to rectify the situation, or are they merely a response to regulatory pressure? Share your thoughts below.

Samson Ononeme

Meet Samson Ononeme, a dynamic writer, editor, and CEO of With a passion for words and a sharp business acumen, Samson captivates readers with captivating storytelling and delivers insightful market analysis. He is a trailblazer in the finance industry, empowering individuals with knowledge and shaping the narrative of money. Get ready to be inspired by his literary prowess and entrepreneurial leadership.

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