“Citizens Bank regularly denied customers the full credits of their deposits when there were discrepancies between deposit slips and the actual money transferred into the bank,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a release.
According to Cordray, the bank ignored inconsistencies in transfer amounts and account balances and chose to pocket the difference.
The fines include $11 million in refunds and $7.5 million in penalties. It is unclear how many of those depositor affected also have their mortgage with the bank.
The news comes a mere week after a J.D. Power client satisfaction study ranked Citizens Bank second in mortgage servicing satisfaction.
“Delivering top-notch customer service is a key component of our commitment to provide customers with the best possible banking experience, and it is gratifying that we have been recognized by J.D. Power,” said Brad Conner, vice chairman and head of consumer banking for Citizens Bank said in a release at the time. “These findings reflect the investments we’ve made not only in our mortgage business, but across the entire bank, to help our customers bank better.”
In that same release, the bank boasted that it was “designated one of the Most Reputable Banks in the country by American Banker/Reputation Institute in 2015.”
Regulators have ordered Citizen Bank to pay $18.5 million for applying the crudest calculations to client accounts and pocketing the change.