The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced yesterday that it has ordered Santander Bank, N.A. to pay a $10 million fine for illegal overdraft service practices.
Santander’s telemarketing vendor deceptively marketed the overdraft service and signed certain bank customers up for the service without their consent. In addition to paying the civil money penalty to the CFPB, Santander Bank must go back and give consumers the opportunity to provide their affirmative consent to overdraft service, not use a vendor to telemarket its overdraft service, and it must increase oversight of vendors it uses to telemarket consumer financial products or services.
“Santander tricked consumers into signing up for an overdraft service they didn’t want and charged them fees,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Santander’s telemarketer used deceptive sales pitches to mislead customers into enrolling in overdraft service. We will put a stop to any such unlawful practices that harm consumers.”
Santander is a national bank based in Wilmington, Del. Santander Bank operates a network of nearly 700 retail branch offices in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
The CFPB's full press release is here.