U.S. Bank Fined For Opening ‘Sham’ Accounts For Customers
The fifth-largest largest commercial bank in the US has been fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for illegally accessing consumer credit reports and opening accounts without their permission, as reported by CNN.
U.S. Bank, which is based in Minneapolis and has over $559 billion in assets, pressured its employees to meet sales goals as part of their job requirements, offering them incentives for selling bank products, the regulator said. In order to meet those goals, the bank’s employees illegally accessed customer credit reports and personal data to open accounts without permission, the investigation found.
The CFBP announced that it fined U.S. Bank $37.5 million, after a 5-year investigation.
“For over a decade, U.S. Bank knew its employees were taking advantage of its customers by misappropriating consumer data to create fictitious accounts,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra in a press release.
In a statement to CNN Business, U.S. Bank said it has “made process and oversight improvements” since 2016 regarding sales practice concerns. Employees now receive incentives only for accounts where the customer uses the service.