Citizens Bank fined at least $34.5 million for pocketing customers’ cash

Thursday, August 13, 2015
By Paul Martin

By Jonnelle Marte
WashingtonPost.com
August 12, 2015

Citizens Bank failed to give customers their full deposits at times when the size of the deposit didn’t match the number written on deposit slips, regulators said Wednesday.

The bank will need to pay a penalty of at least $34.5 million because of those “deceptive practices,” according to the joint enforcement action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Instead of giving workers the difference when there was a mismatch in the paperwork, the bank at times pocketed the cash, officials said. The discrepancies, which arose between 2008 and 2013, came up when the bank’s scanners misread the number on deposit slips or when customers jotted down the wrong amount, officials said.

Citizens told customers that discrepancies would be investigated and corrected, but it only did so for deposit amounts above $50, and later above $25. Over time, the money pocketed by the bank added up to millions of dollars.

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