Bank of America caught cheating customers and charging illegal fees

 July 13, 2023

Federal regulators have revealed that Bank of America, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States, has engaged in activities detrimental to its customers. These activities include imposing duplicate fees, withholding rewards from credit card holders, and creating fraudulent accounts, all of which violate various consumer financial protection laws.

CNN reports that in response to these findings, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has directed Bank of America to compensate affected customers with an amount exceeding $100 million and pay $90 million in penalties. Additionally, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has levied fines totaling $60 million against the bank.

"The CFPB and OCC found that the bank, which normally charged customers $35 if their transaction was declined due to insufficient funds, allowed those fees to be 'repeatedly charged' for the same transaction, resulting in customers being charged 'tens of millions of dollars in fees on resubmitted transactions,' according to the OCC."

According to the CFPB, Bank of America "harmed hundreds of thousands of consumers over a period of several years and across multiple product lines and services." The OCC further highlighted the bank's failure to clearly explain that multiple fees could result from the same transaction, leaving customers unaware and unable to avoid the assessment of these fees.

Compensation and Penalties

The regulatory authorities have taken decisive action against Bank of America's misconduct. The bank has been directed to compensate affected customers with an amount exceeding $100 million. This compensation aims to address the financial harm caused to individuals and small businesses as a result of the bank's actions. In addition to compensation, the bank has been ordered to pay $90 million in penalties to the CFPB. The OCC has also levied fines totaling $60 million against Bank of America.

Response from Bank of America

Bank of America acknowledged the regulatory actions and expressed its commitment to rectifying the situation. The bank stated that it voluntarily reduced overdraft fees and eliminated non-sufficient fund fees in the first half of 2022, resulting in a significant drop in revenue from these fees. A spokesperson for Bank of America shared, "As a result of these industry-leading changes, revenue from these fees has dropped more than 90 percent."

Implications for Customers and the Banking Industry

The revelation of Bank of America's misconduct and the subsequent regulatory actions have raised concerns among customers and the broader banking industry. Customers who have been impacted by the bank's detrimental activities will now have the opportunity to receive compensation for the financial harm they have endured. These actions also serve as a reminder to financial institutions about the importance of compliance with consumer protection laws and the severe consequences they may face for engaging in practices that harm their customers.

Continuing the Fight for Consumer Protection

The actions taken by the CFPB and the OCC against Bank of America underscore the critical role played by regulatory bodies in safeguarding consumer interests. These agencies work diligently to investigate complaints, enforce regulations, and hold financial institutions accountable for any misconduct. The outcome of this case sends a clear message that consumer protection remains a top priority and that those who engage in harmful practices will face significant penalties.


In conclusion, Bank of America's misconduct, involving the imposition of illegal fees and fraudulent practices, has prompted federal regulators to take action. The bank's customers have suffered financial harm as a result of these activities, leading to the direction for compensation exceeding $100 million and substantial penalties. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of consumer protection and the need for banks to uphold ethical standards.

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