WASHINGTON, D.C. (Legal Newsline) — The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that Santander Bank N.A. will pay $10
million for its alleged illegal overdraft service practices.
Santander allegedly marketed and enrolled consumers in its “Account
Protector” overdraft service and charged them $35 per overdraft.
The CFPB alleged that Santander signed consumers up for
overdraft services without consent, deceived them about the free price of the
overdraft service and about the fees they would face if they did not opt in,
falsely claimed the call was not a sales pitch, and failed to stop deceptive
In 2010, federal rules were created that barred banks from
charging overdraft fees for ATM and one-time debit card transactions unless
consumers opted in.
“Santander tricked consumers into signing up for an
overdraft service they didn’t want and charged them fees,” CFPB Director
Richard Cordray said. “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, a national bank with headquarters in Wilmington,
Delaware, operates close to 700 retail branches in the northeast.