Bank of America has been fined $225 million for bungling the distribution of unemployment benefits during the pandemic. The bank will now have to payback over 100,000 people in 12 states.
On Thursday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency decided that the country’s second-largest bank will pay $125 million. This will compensate those affected by unjust and unethical practices in connection to a prepaid card program.
Bank of America has also been fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for another $100 million. This is for “botching the disbursement of state unemployment benefits at the height of the pandemic.”
The bank is accused of having a faulty fraud detection program that froze the accounts of thousands of individuals looking for unemployment benefits in 2020 and 2021.
What’s more, regulators claimed that the bank made it hard for people to unfreeze their cards. They also understaffed their call locations, resulting in people spending hours on hold in attempt to address the issue.
As part of the decision, the bank will have to implement a remediation plan to name affected customers and decide how much they will get paid.