Under consent order with the CFPB, American Express ends its discriminatory credit practices in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories

As CFPB director Richard Cordray described it:

Consumer financial protections are not confined within the 50 states. American Express discriminated against consumers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories by providing them with less-favorable financial products and services. They have ceased this practice and are making consumers whole. In particular, because they self-reported the problem and fully cooperated with our investigation, no civil penalties are being assessed in this matter.

The agency describes its order this way:

The [CFPB] today took action against two American Express banking subsidiaries for discriminating against consumers in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories by providing them with credit and charge card terms that were inferior to those available in the 50 states. American Express also discriminated against certain consumers with Spanish-language preferences. Over the course of at least ten years, more than 200,000 consumers were harmed by American Express’ discriminatory practices, which included charging higher interest rates, imposing stricter credit cutoffs, and providing less debt forgiveness. American Express has paid approximately $95 million in consumer redress during the course of the Bureau’s review and American Express’ review, and today’s order requires it to pay at least another $1 million to fully compensate harmed consumers.

Read the consent order and the CFPB's press release.

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