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Friday, April 13, 2012

Credit-Card Companies in a Conflict of Interest

On April 12, 2012, Hawaii sued Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Barclays, Capital One, Discover, HSBC, and their subsidiaries, “claiming that the banks ‘slammed’ Hawaii credit card customers, charging them for products customers didn't need and that the companies never provided.” The Hawaiian government alleges that the banks used “‘predatory tactics to sign up customers for services they either don’t want or don't qualify for,’ and the companies charged their customers ‘without their knowledge or consent,’ according to a press release issued by the Hawaii attorney general's office.” According to the Attorney General, David Louie, “You don't know that you're enrolling, but they say, 'Oh you just enrolled,' okay, and now they've put a charge on your credit card.”  The banks’ telemarketing departments may have charged customers an average of $150 in the form of small charges.

The full essay is at Institutional Conflicts of Interest, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.