April 30 - The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has assessed a $5 million civil money penalty against RBS Citizens, N.A., headquartered in Providence, R.I., for violations of section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and ordered the bank to pay approximately $2.5 million in restitution to 265,000 affected customers.
The OCC has ordered the bank to correct the violations; enhance its compliance risk management program, policies and procedures; and take other corrective action to ensure compliance with consumer protection laws, including the FTC Act. The restitution will include reimbursement of related fees or rebates, plus associated interest, to four categories of bank customers who were enrolled in the bank’s overdraft protection programs or its checking rewards program, or had requested stop payments of preauthorized recurring electronic fund transfers.
The bank’s restitution will make whole those customers who were harmed as a result of inaccurate or misleading disclosures about the operation of the bank’s overdraft protection programs, the rebate qualification requirements of the bank’s checking rewards program or the bank’s ability to process stop payments requested by customers. The exact restitution time frame varies by violation, extending between September 2007 and September 2011. The bank will send reimbursements without requiring any action by affected customers.
This action is being taken in coordination with a separate action by the FDIC against Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, a state bank affiliate of RBS Citizens, N.A., for similar violations of section 5 of the FTC Act.