Citigroup to Refund |$700M for ‘Add-Ons’

     (CN) – Citigroup agreed to refund $700 million to consumers and will pay $70 million in fines to settle claims it engaged in deceptive credit card practices, federal regulators announced Tuesday.
     Under the terms of the agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Citigroup will issue refunds to nearly 9 million consumers who paid for “add-on” products such as credit score monitoring, expedited processing of payments and identity theft protection.
     It will also pay $35 million in fines to the CFPB, and an addition $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
     Richard Cordray, the bureau’s director, said his agency continues to uncover illegal credit card add-on practices that he says are “costing unknowing consumers millions of dollars.”
     Federal regulators said some of Citigroup’s alleged illegal activities go back as long ago as 2000, and ended in 2013.
     In one case, they said, Citigroup sold consumers credit card monitoring services when the bank wasn’t performing such services.
     In another case, Citigroup telemarketers allegedly sold identity theft protection service with a 30-day free trial, when no such free trial existed.
     In a statement, Citigroup said it stopped the allegedly illegal practices two years ago and that it is issuing statement credits to its customers. Those who no longer have an account with the bank will receive their refund by mail.

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