On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP along with Werman Salas P.C., filed a class action complaint against the diversified financial services company, Fifth Third Bancorp and Fifth Third Bank, National Association (collectively, “Fifth Third”), for unlawful practices that brought harm to its consumers. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (“ICFA”), Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), and other state law claims. All persons in the United States for whom Fifth Third or a Fifth Third employee opened a financial account or product in the person’s name without that person’s lawfully-obtained authorization may be eligible to join this lawsuit.
Due to Fifth Third’s aggressive and illicit “cross-selling” strategy used to increase the total number of products and services provided to existing customers, there have been several violations of the ICFA and FCRA alleged by a class of its consumers. Managers of Fifth Third and their subordinate employees were rewarded if they met ambitious sales goals and their performance ratings were severely affected if they failed to meet them. As a result of this practice, Fifth Third’s employees, without consumers’ knowledge or consent, opened accounts in consumers’ names; transferred funds from consumers’ existing accounts to new, improperly opened accounts; issued credit cards; enrolled consumers in online- banking services; and opened lines of credit on consumers’ accounts. These actions caused customers to be charged fees for many or all of the unauthorized accounts. Additionally, because Fifth Third unlawfully accessed consumer credit reports without customer consent when opening these fraudulent accounts, consumer credit scores have been negatively impacted.
Fifth Third’s practices exposed their customers to risk of harm, including risking them to be unable to meet their financial obligations. If they had been informed of Fifth Third’s deceptive and unfair practices, they would have opted for a different bank’s products and services. Unfortunately, practices promoting self-enrichment by banks at the expense of its customers is more common than one would like. If you are a customer of Fifth Third Bank and would like to know how your rights may be affected by this lawsuit, do not hesitate to call our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, at (212) 300-0375. Additionally, if you’ve recently noticed unauthorized accounts or cards being opened by your bank, do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation or view our firm’s site here to see if they may be illicitly handling your money.
You can also view the filed complaint here.