Monthly Archives: September 2018

Bank of America issues apology to Spring Hill family after account closure

Bank of America has issued an apology to Spring Hill resident Benjamin Atria Aguirre following the closure of his checking account amidst allegations of discrimination, saying that it was simply a case of “human error.”

Atria Aguirre noticed on August 29 that his checking account was inaccessible. He was not notified until August 31 that his checking account had been closed, and that a check with the remaining balance had been sent in the mail.

Atria Aguirre’s checking account was fully restored on September 4, however, as it was near the end of the month, the closure caused some difficulties in paying mortgage and bills. Bank of America has said they will cover any late fees Atria Aguirre incurred because of the account closure.

It wasn’t until a friend of Atria Aguirre forwarded him a news articlethat detailed reports of other Bank of America customers having their accounts closed or frozen after being asked to provide proof of citizenship, that Atria Aguirre suspected that the cause of his account closure might be more than just human error.

Atria Aguirre has been a green card holder in the United States since 2012, after meeting his American-born wife, Sharra Luke, in a business class in his native country of Chile and moving to the United States.

Read on.

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Wells Fargo banking unit probed for employee fraud: Report

The Department of Justice is probing Wells Fargo’s wholesale banking unit for fraud in the wake of reports that employees adjusted corporate customers’ information on documents without their knowledge or consent, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Workers in the bank’s wholesale unit are said to have added or changed personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses for people associated with its business clients in 2017 and early 2018. At the time, the unit was pressed with regulatory deadlines, including one related to anti-money laundering controls.

The DOJ is said to be investigating whether management influenced employee actions, people familiar with the matter told the Journal, looking to see whether there is a pattern of behavior when it comes to management pressure.

Read on.

Mulvaney Student Fee Whitewash Benefits Bank of America, US Bank

In December 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau produced a study that was useful for the university administrators looking after millions of college students in the United States.

In an annual report to Congress, the agency published an analysis of agreements between credit and debit card issuers and institutes of higher learning—one that included warnings about boilerplate deals enabling banks to ply fees out of students.

“Many general marketing agreements contain features or lack protections that may make them inconsistent with the ‘best financial interests’ of students,” the report warned in boldface text. The agency noted these deals “do not expressly prohibit certain fees,” and stressed that “colleges may negotiate…to include additional key consumer protections.”

Since the Trump administration took power, however—under the leadership of interim CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney—the tenor of the report changed drastically. Last year’s version, published in January 2018, reads more like it was written the night before. The paper has updated quantitative data, little qualitative analysis and no discussion of overdraft charges.

A university that takes a hands-off approach to debit and credit card deals could see its student body incur “hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees per year,” according to the 2016 version of the report.

Read on.