Citigroup will pay $25.9 million to address claims by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the New York company intentionally and illegally discriminated against Armenian-American credit card applicants.
The CFPB alleged that the $1.7 trillion-asset Citi, between 2015 through 2021, singled those applicants out based on their surnames. Citi supervisors allegedly conspired to hide the discrimination by instructing employees not to discuss the practices in writing or on recorded phone lines.
Citi will pay $1.4 million to harmed consumers along with a $24.5 million penalty.
“The CFPB found that Citi purposefully discriminated against applicants of Armenian descent, primarily based on the spelling of their last name,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a press release. “Citi stereotyped Armenians as prone to crime and fraud. In reality, Citi illegally fabricated documents to cover up its discrimination.”