PROVIDENCE — Citizens Financial Group Inc. will pay $9 million and take other remedial measures to settle US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allegations that the bank failed to adequately address credit card disputes and fraud claims.
The consumer watchdog alleged in a 2020 lawsuit that the Providence, R.I.-based bank violated consumer-protection laws, including the Truth in Lending Act. In addition to paying the $9 million penalty, the bank will remedy how it handles credit-card issues such as the resolution of billing-error notices.
“Federal law provides important rights to credit-card holders when disputing transactions and resolving billing errors,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said Tuesday in a statement announcing the settlement. “As outstanding credit-card debt approaches $1 trillion, the CFPB will be closely watching the conduct of the credit-card industry.”
Citizens did not admit fault to the allegations of failing to properly manage or respond to customers’ credit card fraud claims and disputes. Instead, Citizens Financial Group, which vowed in 2020 to “vigorously challenge” the CFPB’s lawsuit, continues to disagree with the agency on “these long-resolved issues” that the company previously “self identified.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Citizens Financial Group acknowledged there were “certain billing errors and related issues” that had “impacted a very small subset of Citizens’ credit card customers nearly eight years ago.”
“We are pleased to put this matter behind us,” general counsel Polly Klane said in a statement. “We remain proud of our commitment to transparency, our rigorous compliance programs, and our consistent effort to treat customers fairly and operate responsibly.”
Material from Bloomberg was used in this report.
Alexa Gagosz can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.