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OCC Assesses $60 Million Penalty Against JPMorgan Chase, Orders Bank to Reimburse Consumers for Unfair Billing Practices


Sept 20 - The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has assessed a $60 million penalty against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Columbus, Ohio, and Chase Bank USA, N.A., Wilmington, Del., and ordered the bank to make restitution to millions of consumers who were unfairly billed for, and paid for, identity theft protection that they did not receive.

The OCC found that the bank’s billing practices violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1), which prohibits unfair and deceptive acts or practices. The $60 million civil money penalty reflects a number of factors, including the scope and duration of the violations and financial harm to consumers from the unfair practices. The penalty will be paid to the U.S. Treasury.

The restitution ordered by the OCC will benefit consumers who, between October 2005 and June 2012, enrolled in and paid for identity theft protection products but did not receive the full benefit of the products. The restitution will include the full amount paid for these products, plus any associated over-limit fees, and finance charges. The OCC believes that there are approximately 2.1 million harmed consumers, and fees and charges subject to restitution total approximately $309 million.

The OCC order also requires the bank to take a number of corrective measures that include ensuring compliance with the FTC Act, improving governance of third-party vendors associated with certain consumer products, developing an enterprise-wide risk management program for such consumer products marketed or sold by the bank or its vendors, and improving its consumer compliance internal audit program.