WASHINGTON, DC — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to deliver results for consumers wronged by the financial industry, including a new settlement reached with Citizens Bank over allegations the bank violated consumer financial protection laws and rules that protect individuals when they dispute credit card transactions. The CFPB is building on its successful track record recouping $16 billion in relief for about 192 million consumers in spite of  numerous  ongoing attacks seeking to defund, defang and do away with the agency, including a lawsuit headed to the Supreme Court brought by predatory lenders, and a flurry of anti-CFPB bills pushed by House Financial Service Committee Republicans who are deep in the pocket of Wall Street banks.  

As government watchdog Accountable.US has previously documented, Citizens Financial Group and its subsidiary Citizens Bank have a troubling history of discrimination and are tied to a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Texas that seeks to reverse the CFPB’s new crackdown on illegal discrimination in the financial industry – while raising dubious arguments about the CFPB’s structure and authority.  Accountable.US has also found that Citizens Financial collected over $400 million in junk fees in 2022 while rewarding its CEO Bruce Van Saun with $11.7 million in compensation. In February, the CFPB proposed a new rule cracking down on abusive junk fees like credit card industry overdraft and late fees – an effort that is expected to save American families $9 billion every year.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is under assault in all directions from predatory lenders, greedy Wall Street banks and Congressional Republicans in industry’s pocket, yet the agency keeps going to the mat for wronged consumers. Every settlement reached against a bad financial actor, every dollar returned to a defrauded or mistreated consumer by the CFPB is a reminder how important it is to keep the agency strong and independent. It’s a reminder how conservatives in Congress like Patrick McHenry who let their financial industry donors write their own rules are putting consumers at greater risk of scams and abuse.”

Liz Zelnick, Director of Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power.
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