Federal regulators are investigating Bank of America's handling of fraudulent activity on debit cards used to manage payments to California unemployment recipients, multiple sources with knowledge of the inquiry confirmed to POLITICO.
The probes by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency come as Bank of America and California’s unemployment agency face intense criticism for their response to widespread unemployment fraud. The state paid out billions of dollars to fraudsters in the past year while it, along with the bank, froze or suspended the accounts of legitimate claimants in response.
Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said in an interview Tuesday that lawmakers who have asked for more information continue to be stonewalled by Bank of America. He said the bank "didn't tell the truth" when it claimed that it was promptly resolving fraud concerns on legitimate accounts.
Constituents have reported inconsistent responses from Bank of America, Ting said. Some have been able to unfreeze their accounts, he said, but far more have received little communication about their situations.
“For folks who got their accounts frozen, we have a very difficult time getting them unfrozen,” he said.