The CFPB is a government agency actually doing what it was created to do. Credit card holders complained about fees for services they weren't getting. Now Chase Bank and JP Morgan have been ordered to refund millions to customers.
September 20, 2013

Alan Valdes of DME Securities whines that JPMorgan Chase's fine is outrageous and means secretaries and mail room workers won't get raises! Just listen to this moron.

First, it was "come to Jesus" time over the Blue Whale trading scandal:

More than a year after a group of traders at JPMorgan Chase caused a multibillion-dollar loss, government authorities on Thursday imposed a $920 million fine on the bank and shifted scrutiny to its senior management.

Extracting the fines and a rare admission of wrongdoing from JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, regulators in Washington and London took aim at a pervasive breakdown in controls and leadership at the bank. The deal resolves investigations from four regulators: the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the Financial Conduct Authority in London.

But the bank has struggled to settle with another regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is investigating whether the bank’s trading manipulated the market for financial contracts known as derivatives. JPMorgan Chase disclosed on Thursday that the agency’s enforcement staff had recommended the filing of an enforcement action.

The regulators who did settle with JPMorgan cited the bank for “deficiencies” in “oversight of the risks,” assessment of controls and development of “internal financial reporting.” The group at JPMorgan tasked with double-checking the traders’ estimated profit and losses was so “under resourced” and “unequipped,” authorities said, that it consisted of a single employee.

The regulatory orders attributed much of the blame to JPMorgan’s senior management, who failed to elevate concerns about the losses to the bank’s board.

CFPB logo
In other news, the CFPB proves its weight in gold. This time, JP Morgan Chase will have to refund $300 million in fraudulent charges made to credit card customers for "credit monitoring services."

According to the consent order, Chase Bank and JP Morgan Chase offered cardholders "identity protection services" where they promised to monitor customers' credit records to make sure identity thieves were not taking advantage of their customers' good credit.

However, in order for such a service to actually be performed, customers would have to authorize the bank to check their credit reports at the agency. Those authorizations were never given, and so Chase/JPMorgan Chase collected fees for services they never rendered or intended to render.

Via the press release:

To ensure that Chase honors its obligation to repay all affected consumers and that consumers are no longer subject to these unfair billing practices, the CFPB’s order requires that Chase Bank USA, N.A. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.:

  • End unfair billing practices: Consumers will no longer be billed for these products if they are not receiving the promised benefits. Chase also must take steps, subject to the Bureau’s approval, to ensure these unlawful acts do not occur in the future.
  • Complete repayment, plus interest, to more than two million consumers: Chase must pay a full refund, approximately $309 million, to more than two million consumers who enrolled in the credit monitoring product and were charged for services that were not received. In addition to the amount paid for the product, Chase must refund interest and any over-the-limit fees resulting from the charge for the product.
  • Conveniently repay consumers: If the consumers are still Chase customers, they received a credit to their accounts. If they are no longer a Chase credit card holder, they received checks in the mail. Consumers were not required to take any action to receive their credit or check. Most consumers should have received refunds by November 30, 2012.
  • Submit to an independent audit: Chase has engaged an independent auditor to help ensure the refunds have been provided in compliance with the terms as set forth in the CFPB’s order.
  • Improve oversight of third-party vendors: The CFPB is also requiring that Chase strengthen its management of third-party vendors who manage these identity protection products.
  • Pay a $20 million penalty: Chase will make a $20 million penalty payment to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund.

So the consumers benefit, there's a penalty, and we know that there was a pattern of fraud coming from these guys. This is why the CFPB exists. It's why banks hate them, and it's why the rest of us should be singing their praises.

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