Consumer Finance Insights
August 20, 2015

New York Attorney General Announces Results of Investigation into National Bank’s Subsidiary over Improper Fees

On August 19, 2015, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced an interim agreement with a subsidiary of a national banking organization over allegations that the bank charged improper fees on customer’s inactive accounts. The bank managed consumer investment accounts and charged a variety of fees for account management services. The bank allegedly assessed the fees prospectively at the beginning of every quarter. Under New York’s consumer protection laws, a financial institution cannot impose account management fees on inactive accounts. According to the Attorney General, the bank’s practice of assessing quarterly fees prospectively caused consumers to be charged fees for periods of time when their accounts were in inactive status. The Attorney General launched the investigation in 2012 and the bank has cooperated with investigators. The current agreement promises to return more than $4.5 million in restitution to affected consumers. In a 2014 agreement related to the same investigation, the bank agreed to pay approximately $16 million in restitution. The bank has agreed to further review of the overcharges and the bank may be required to pay additional restitution.  ​​