Atlantic Union Bank agreed to pay $6.2 million as part of a settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) resolving allegations the bank illegally enrolled and misled customers in its checking account overdraft programs.
Atlantic Union Bank was fined $1.2 million and must pay at least $5 million in redress to thousands of affected consumers, the CFPB announced in a press release Thursday.
The details: Between January 2017 and November 2020, Atlantic Union Bank obtained improper consent to enroll customers in its overdraft coverage, according to the CFPB’s order. Branch employees did not print written overdraft notices for new customers until the end of the account-opening process, instead initially relying on oral affirmation, the agency alleged.
During the relevant period, the bank charged approximately 8,500 consumers enrolled through this process overdraft fees, per the CFPB.
The agency also faulted Atlantic Union Bank for misleading customers about the terms and costs of overdraft coverage when they sought to enroll by phone through customer support.
Compliance considerations: Atlantic Union Bank agreed to implement a compliance plan within 30 days to ensure its policies and procedures regarding opt-in overdraft privilege comply with applicable consumer financial laws.
The bank’s board is responsible for its compliance with the CFPB’s order, the agency said, and must review all plans and reports required under the compliance plan.
Bank response: “We respectfully disagree with the CFPB’s conclusions about these historical practices and take very seriously our obligation to comply with applicable law,” said Atlantic Union Chief Executive John Asbury in a statement. “We are, and have always been, committed to treating our customers fairly and providing them with the information they need to help them make financial decisions that work for their lives. Nonetheless, we believe it is in Atlantic Union’s best interest to settle this matter so we can continue focusing on providing the products, services, and support our customers want.”