Monday, September 23, 2013

CFPB and OCC Broker Another Settlement....A Win for Chase Bank Customers

There are approximately 2.1 million JP Morgan Chase Bank customers who can expect to receive a small refund as part of a recent $309-million settlement between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the bank. The CFPB and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) determined that Chase “engaged in unfair billing practices for certain credit card add-on products by charging consumers for credit monitoring services that they did not receive.” Customers can expect to receive a “full refund” if they have been identified as not receiving the services between October 2005 and June 2012.
However, doing some simple math, we can determine that on average, each bank customer will only receive less than $150.00. It is great that governmental agencies are watching such practices. However, my question is what is the value of the money that Chase received in regard to the practices?   Almost seven years of conduct resulted in what benefit to Chase? We would need to know this in order to determine whether this is an appropriate resolution. What was the average bank customer charged during that time? Seems relatively certain that is was more than $150 each!
Again, it is great that the government is protecting us…and equally sad that we need protection!! The CFPB seems to be one governmental agency that is stepping up and monitoring lender conduct. It also seems that charging for a service that customers did not receive is a tad on the despicable side, so was part of the settlement punitive? Certainly seems like it should be given that the allegation was that Chase charged for services that were not received but the bank customers.
Hopefully the next settlement will provide more benefit to those that were harmed. In the interim, we should be thankful that someone is out there to protect us.

Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D


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