The Bank Slate


Fifth Third to pay $20M to address CFPB claims

Fifth Third Bancorp in Cincinnati will pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tied to alleged fake checking accounts.

The $214 billion-asset company also agreed to pay $5 million – and pay redress to customers – to address claims that it overcharged customers for force-placed auto insurance.

The CFPB claimed that the force-placed or maintained unnecessary duplicative insurance more than 37,000 times from 2010 to 2019. As a result, about 1,000 borrowers had their vehicles illegally repossessed.

The fake account litigation goes back as far as 2020.

“The CFPB has caught Fifth Third … illegally loading up auto loan bills with excessive charges,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a press release. “We are ordering the senior executives and board of directors at Fifth Third to clean up these broken business practices or else face further consequences.”

Fifth Third, which did not admit or deny wrongdoing in the CFPB’s consent order, said the fine addresses sales practices tied to “a limited number of accounts opened beginning in 2010 and ending in 2016.” The company said the fake accounts involved less than $30,000 in improper charges and that it waived charges or reimbursed customers years ago.

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