OCC Assesses $125 Million Civil Penalty Against Bank of America

Bank of America (BOA) has been accused of unfair and deceptive business practices involving the distribution of unemployment funds during the height of the pandemic. Now, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has taken action by assessing a $125 million civil money penalty against BOA. According to the OCC, Bank of America violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act through its Unemployment Benefits Prepaid Card Program, which was launched in 12 different states, including Arizona, California, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, and South Carolina.

People who were supposed to receive their mandated unemployment funds on pre-paid cards issued by BOA were denied access to their money. What is worse, these vulnerable consumers were left without an effective way to remedy the situation because BOA was found to have inadequately investigated consumer complaints of unauthorized charges, and BOA also implemented an insufficient internal management program for these pre-paid card accounts. The OCC determined those inadequacies and violations have harmed consumers since 2020.

If a consumer’s unemployment benefits were denied or delayed due to problems with the BOA card program, then BOA must pay that consumer damages via the OCC order. Furthermore, the order requires Bank of America to significantly improve that program and others like it to reduce the overall risk to consumers. This OCC action was announced after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered BOA to pay a $100 million civil money penalty. Both penalties are for the same violations, will be paid to the U.S. Treasury, and do not cover the damages owed to the harmed consumers.

For more information about this important OCC order, you can click here to visit the official OCC website. To learn about class action lawsuits against banks and major corporations, please contact Golomb Legal. to speak with one of our class action attorneys. We proudly stand up for consumers and their rights against defendants of all sizes and industries.