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Consumer agency fines Capital One for card marketing


(Reuters) - Capital One Financial agreed to pay $210 million to resolve charges by banking regulators that its call-center representatives misled consumers into paying for extra credit card products.

The enforcement action, announced on Wednesday, is the first by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which said it unearthed the activities through an examination of the bank.

The CFPB was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law and is nearing its one-year anniversary.

The government said $150 million of the sanctions will go to reimburse affected customers, while the remaining penalty will be split between the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which fined the bank $35 million, and the CFPB, which will collect $25 million.

"We are putting companies on notice that these deceptive practices are against the law and will not be tolerated," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The regulators alleged that employees at call centers used by Capital One pressured and misled consumers into paying for "add-on products" such as payment protection and credit monitoring when they activated their credit cards.

In a briefing with reporters, Cordray said he anticipated actions against other banks over similar tactics but declined to name any targets.

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