The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency assessed a $33 million enforcement order against Woodforest National Bank of The Woodlands, Texas, for unfair and deceptive practices in its overdraft program.
For the settlement, the OCC is requiring the $3.1 billion-asset bank to pay a civil money penalty of $1 million and approximately $32 million of reimbursements to customers who were harmed by the bank's overdraft program.
The OCC said the bank's PrivilegePay overdraft program assessed excessive amounts of overdraft fees and improperly charged recurring fees or "continuous overdraft fees" against customers. The bank charged overdraft fees each time a transaction caused a customer's account to be overdrawn. It also imposed limits on the amount an account could be overdrawn but at the same time allowed some customers to exceed that limit.
Prior to September 2009, the bank had no limit on the amount of overdraft fees a customer could receive and it did not monitor a customer's excessive fees from the PrivilegePay program, the OCC said.
The bank's marketing brochures emphasized free or low-cost features but omitted information about the overdraft charges, the agency said.