The State of New York and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (which is not shut down) yesterday settled claims against Sterling Jewelers, based on findings that that the company violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by opening store credit-card accounts without customer consent; enrolling customers in payment-protection insurance without their consent; and misrepresenting to consumers the financing terms associated with the credit-card accounts. The CFPB also found Truth in Lending Act violations, based on Sterling signing customers up for credit-card accounts without having received an oral or written request or application from them.
Under the settlement, the company will pay a $10 million civil money penalty to the CFPB and a $1 million civil money penalty to New York. The settlement also includes injunctive relief designed to prevent the continuation of the wrongdoing.
The consent order is here.
So apparently Wells Fargo is not the only company to sign people up for accounts without consent. The scope of wrongdoing by Wells Fargo, and the penalty, were of course much larger.