OMAHA, Neb. — First National Bank of Omaha will pay more than $35 million in reimbursements and civil fines after federal regulators concluded that some of the bank’s practices deceptively or unfairly enrolled and charged customers for products they didn’t get.
The bank hasn’t sold any of the products in regulators’ sights since 2012, and two of them had been sold to customers since 1997, the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/2bUKWyZ ) reported.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the bank’s main regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, ordered the bank to reimburse about 257,000 customers for a total of nearly $27.8 million. The bank must also pay $7.5 million in civil fines.
The protection bureau enforcement action found the bank obscured its sales pitch, deceived consumers into making a purchase and made it hard for customers to cancel such services.
“First National Bank of Omaha violated the trust of its customers by illegally signing them up for credit card add-on products,” said Richard Cordray, director of the protection bureau. “The CFPB’s track record and this result today shows strong and consistent action against credit card companies that dupe consumers into buying a product they do not want.”
First National president Dan O’Neill said the bank lacked in oversight.
“At First National Bank, we know it is our responsibility to ensure that our customers receive all of the advertised benefits of any product we are involved in marketing, whether directly or indirectly,” O’Neill said. “While the bank did not intentionally mislead our customers, our oversight of the products and the vendor that administered these products was lacking.”
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com