Bank of Amer­ica fined US$30 mil. by US


Bank of Amer­ica has been fined US$30 mil­lion by U.S. reg­u­la­tors, who ac­cused the bank of vi­o­lat­ing con­sumer pro­tec­tions for mem­bers of the mil­i­tary in col­lect­ing debts.

The Of­fice of the Comptroller of the Cur­rency, a Trea­sury Depart­ment di­vi­sion, an­nounced the civil penalty Fri­day against the sec­ond-largest U.S. bank. The agency says Bank of Amer­ica has started tak­ing steps to cor­rect the prob­lems and “is com­mit­ted to tak­ing all nec­es­sary and ap­pro­pri­ate steps” to do so.

The reg­u­la­tors say the bank vi­o­lated the law pro­tect­ing ser­vice mem­bers by tak­ing im­proper legal ac­tion against mil­i­tary cus­tomers for delin­quent credit card ac­counts and over­drafts. The im­proper prac­tices al­legedly oc- curred from Jan­uary 2006 to the present.

The OCC also said Bank of Amer­ica had failed to have ef­fec­tive poli­cies and pro­ce­dures to en­sure its com­pli­ance with the law, the Ser­vice­mem­bers Civil Re­lief Act.

Bank of Amer­ica Corp., based in Char­lotte, North Carolina, said it will con­tinue to im­prove its com­pli­ance with the law.

“We have taken sig­nif­i­cant steps over the last sev­eral years, and will take fur­ther steps now, to en­sure we have the right con­trols and pro­cesses in place to meet — and ex­ceed — what is re­quired by law and what our cus­tomers de­serve and ex­pect,” An­drew Ple­pler, the bank’s ex­ec­u­tive in charge of so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and con­sumer pol­icy, said in a state­ment.

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