The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against Fifth Third Bank, National Association after allegations of opening unauthorised accounts for consumers.
Allegedly, over the past several years, the bank has opened deposit and credit card accounts in consumers’ names and transferred funds from consumers’ existing accounts to new, improperly opened accounts, all without consent.
Furthermore, it supposedly enrolled consumers in unauthorised online banking services and activated unauthorised lines of credit on consumers’ accounts.
The Bureau claims Fifth Third breached the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition against unfair and abusive acts or practices, as well as the Truth in Lending Act and the Truth in Savings Act.
The Bureau believes the bank used a cross-sell strategy to increase the number of products and services it provided to existing customers. It also suggests the bank used an incentive-compensation programme to reward selling new products and continued employee-performance ratings and, in certain occasions, continued employment on meeting ambitious sales goals.
As a result, the Bureau is seeking an injunction to stop Fifth Third’s “unlawful” conduct and redress affected customers and receive a civil money penalty.
This complaint is not a finding or ruling that Fifth Third has violated the law.
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