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American Express Pays $15 Million Penalty for Oversight Failings: Treasury Department

American Express National Bank has agreed to a $15 million penalty imposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) under the Treasury Department. The penalty comes as a result of alleged oversight failings concerning a third-party affiliate and its handling of small business customers.

American Express Pays $15 Million Penalty for Oversight Failings: Treasury Department

According to the OCC, American Express (Amex) failed to implement appropriate call monitoring controls and mechanisms to properly document and track customer complaints related to the unnamed third-party affiliate. The consent order issued by the OCC states that between 2015 and 2017, Amex had inadequate oversight of the affiliate, leading to poor governance, insufficient call monitoring, documentation processes, and customer complaint handling.

Furthermore, the bank also failed to maintain and provide records pertaining to its efforts to retain customers in response to OCC requests and in compliance with customer identification regulations.

In response to the settlement, an Amex spokesperson issued a statement saying, "We have reached a settlement with the OCC to resolve its previously disclosed review of historical sales practices to certain U.S. small business card customers which occurred between 2015 and 2017. We had fully reserved for the penalty in a prior period. The matters covered by the settlement have been fully addressed, including updating card sales policies, enhancing training for sales employees, and providing customer remediation as appropriate."

The penalty underscores the importance of proper oversight and compliance with regulations, particularly when dealing with third-party affiliates and customer relations. As part of the settlement, Amex has taken steps to address the issues highlighted by the OCC and has committed to implementing necessary improvements in its sales practices to avoid similar problems in the future.



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