Citibank in Trouble Again

A pattern of discrimination

Andy Spears

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Photo by Rio Space on Unsplash

Citibank is again in the news for all the wrong reasons.

This time, Citi was found guilty of discrimination in credit card denials.

For a period of six years, Citi singled out consumers it suspected of being of Armenian descent for illegal discrimination, including denying them access to Citi’s credit card products.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking action against Citi for the illegal activity, including fining the company $25.9 million.

This investigation against Citi follows a finding earlier this year that the company employs a debt collection firm that repeatedly broke the law.

“Forster & Garbus bombarded its customers with sketchy lawsuits on behalf of big lenders like Discover and Citibank,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “The CFPB will be scrutinizing large financial companies that enlist debt collection outfits operating lawsuit mills.”

In its quest to recover money for Citi, the company filed nearly 100,000 lawsuits, many of them with questionable legal support.

In 2019, the CFPB sued Forster & Garbus alleging that, from 2014 through 2016, fewer than a dozen attorneys at Forster & Garbus filed more than 99,000 debt-collection lawsuits, while having documents to support only a fraction of those debts.

Citi remains one of the “Big 5” banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, US Bank).

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .