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Take Charge of Your Credit Card

 


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Do you know what kind of world your credit card supports?

Credit cards from megabanks – Citi, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo – support predatory lending, coal mining, tar sands, and outrageous CEO salaries.

That's why Green America is asking you to move to a credit card that supports people and the planet, and gives you the convenience and benefits you need!

Does your credit card...

Over the past several years, mega-banks have paid billions of dollars in fines and penalties for abusive actions that harmed millions of Americans and caused trillions of dollars’ worth of damage to the economy.

While these fines and penalties in no way really punish the banks for their actions, they give a sense of how egregious this type of conduct is.

Community development banks and credit unions, by comparison, rarely ever pay fines and penalties, and when they do, they are very small.

Scorecard for Involvement in Fraud:


Download this scorecard as a PDF »

Bank

Grade

Total Paid Fines and Penalties

Percentage Returned to Customers
(since 2012)

Albina

albinabank.com

A

$0

Beneficial State Bank

beneficialstatebank.com

A

$0

Permaculture

permaculturecu.org

A

$0

Southern Bancorp

banksouthern.com

A

$0

Hope Credit Union

hopecu.org

A-

$23,636

100%

Discover

discover.com

B

$214
Million

93%

American Express

americanexpress.com

C

$188.2 Million

77%

Capital One

capitalone.com

C

$430.8 Million

84%

US Bank

usbank.com

C

$108
Million

51%

Citigroup

citigroup.com

D

$2.54 Billion

0%

Wells Fargo

wellsfargo.com

D

$1.52 Billion

13%

Bank of America

bankofamerica.com

F

$24.08 Billion

2%

Chase

chase.com

F

$22.02 Billion

20%

 

 

Details on Banks Paying Fines & Penalties for Consumer Fraud

 

Bank

Total Paid Fines and Penalties

Fines &
Settlements Paid to Government

Amount Returned to Customer (since 2012)

Notes, Fines, and Penalties

Sources

American Express

americanexpress.com

$188.2 Million

$43.7
Million

$144.5
Million

Since October 2012, American Express has refunded approximately $144.5 million to 585,000 customers for deceptive marketing of products like payment protection and credit monitoring and for charging unlawful late fees.

http://tinyurl.com/lk3l2uy

http://tinyurl.com/mby4x5n

Bank of America

bankofamerica.com

$24.08 Billion

$23.64
Billion

$442 Million

Bank of America has paid over $15 billion since 2007 to settle claims related to the financial crisis, including $11.6 billion to Fannie Mae in 2012 to resolve repurchase claims related to bad mortgages between 2000 and 2008.

http://tinyurl.com/lkjo7at

http://tinyurl.com/ku9g6wh

http://tinyurl.com/7uvbpnr

http://tinyurl.com/ko3ml7y

http://tinyurl.com/kseugnv

Capital One

capitalone.com

$430.8 Million

$70
Million

$360.8
Million

Capitol One paid $210 million to the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau in 2012 to reimburse customers whom they deceptively charged for unnecessary services like credit monitoring, often targeting unemployed people and those with poor credit.

http://tinyurl.com/73lzk3p

http://tinyurl.com/lhfrk6o

http://tinyurl.com/lx2b33q

Chase

chase.com

$22.02 Billion

$17.04
Billion

$4.5
Billion

JP Morgan Chase’s largest fine, regarding their role in the 2008
Financial Crisis, totaled nearly $13 billion – or almost triple the amount paid by BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf

of Mexico in 2010.

http://tinyurl.com/k2583sx

http://tinyurl.com/m9t2sbt

http://tinyurl.com/kfb54ay

http://tinyurl.com/luwlxln

http://tinyurl.com/mzb578r

http://tinyurl.com/k8d4bj9

Citigroup

citigroup.com

$2.54 Billion

$2.54
Billion

$0

In 2013, Citi paid almost $1 billion to Fannie Mae for claims on nearly 3.7 million subprime mortgages it sold.

http://tinyurl.com/mcjbhxh

http://tinyurl.com/md9b4ta

http://tinyurl.com/lyjrtkd

http://tinyurl.com/lp45bxx

Discover

discover.com

$214
Million

$14
Million

$200
Million

Discover reimbursed customers nearly $200 million in 2012 for telemarketing products like payment protection and credit score tracking, failing to disclose the full costs of these products.

http://tinyurl.com/lx2b33q

Hope Credit Union

hopecu.org

$23,636

$0

$23,636

Three Hope Credit Union ATMs in Memphis, TN failed to disclose withdrawal fees on the outside of the machines, in violation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

http://tinyurl.com/lr8k7no

US Bank

usbank.com

$108
Million

$53
Million

$55 Million

US Bank paid $53 million to Freddie Mac over subprime mortgages and reimbursed customers $55 million for illegally charging overdraft fees.

http://tinyurl.com/lpeat3s

http://tinyurl.com/lv2x9s7

Wells Fargo

wellsfargo.com

$1.52 Billion

$1.32
Billion

$203
Million

Wells Fargo paid $1.32 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over subprime mortgages in 2013 and reimbursed customers $203 million for illegally charging overdraft fees.

http://tinyurl.com/k57wu5v

http://tinyurl.com/m73l7fn

 


Take Action Today!

1. Dump your mega-bank credit card, and get a card with a responsible bank or credit union.

2. Move your checking and savings accounts to community development banks and credit unions that are supporting people and the planet. Find hundred of options at BreakUpWithYourMegaBank.org.

3. Take action to tell Eric Holder to crack down on bank fraud.

Several major credit card issuers invest billions in coal mining and coal-fired power plants. When you give money to a mega-bank, like Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bank, or Capital One, you are funding Big Coal, and all its negative effects.

Smaller community development banks and credit unions also offer credit cards, but make it their policy to invest in sectors that build communities and sustainability. The business models followed by American Express and Discover make it unlikely they will invest in coal, but they are not dedicated to helping communities.


Scorecard for Investments in Coal:


Big CoalDownload
this scorecard
as a PDF »

Bank

Grade

Invests in Coal-Fired Power

Invests in Coal Mining

Albina

albinabank.com

A+

Hope Credit Union

hopecu.com

A+

Beneficial State Bank

beneficialstatebank.com

A+

Permaculture

permaculturecu.org

A+

Southern Bancorp

banksouthern.com

A+

American Express

americanexpress.com

A

Discover

discover.com

A

Capital One

capitalone.com

C+

US Bank

usbank.com

C-

Wells Fargo

wellsfargo.com

D+

Bank of America

bankofamerica.com

D-

Chase

chase.com

F

Citigroup

citigroup.com

F

 

US Banks' Financing of Coal Companies in 2012: $20.8 billion
US banks financed a combined $20.8 billion in 2012 for companies engaging in mountaintop-removal mining or seeking to expand or extend the use of coal-fired power plants. This figure does not include other activities involved in teh coal-cycle, like transportation.

Cost of Coal to US Economy: $5,000,000,000,000/year
Activities associated with coal energy, including extraction, transportation, processing, and combusion, produce waste, health, and environmental hazardsthat cost the public nearly $500 billion each year.

CO2 Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants: 1876.8 million metric tons in 2009
The energy produced by coal-fired power plants emitted 1.877 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2009. That's almost 35% of all CO2 produced by energy consumption that year.


Take Action Today!

1. Dump your mega-bank credit card, and get a card with a responsible bank or credit union.

2. Move your checking and savings accounts to community development banks and credit unions. Find options at BreakUpWithYourMegaBank.org.

3. Make your portfolio fossil-fuel-company-free and support clean energy. Find resources in Green America's Fossil-Fuel Divestment Guide.

Green America compared the lobbying expenditures of the largest credit card issuing megabanks to that of community development banks and credit unions that offer cards.

The results? Megabanks are spending millions of dollars to protect their interests, while community development banks and credit unions that serve their communities are not involved in lobbying.


Scorecard for Spending on Politics:



Download this scorecard »

Bank

Grade

Lobbying $
(2014 cycle*)

Albina

albinabank.com

A

Beneficial State Bank

beneficialstatebank.com

A

Hope Credit Union

hopecu.org

A

Permaculture Credit Union

permaculturecu.org

A

no data

Southern Bancorp

banksouthern.com

A

US Bank

usbank.com

C+

$1.45
Million

American Express

americanexpress.com

C

$1.78
Million

Capitol One

capitolone.com

C-

$2.09
Million

Discover

discover.com

C-

$2.08
Million

Bank of America

bankofamerica.com

D

$3.12
Million

Chase

chase.com

F

$5.46
Million

Citi

citi.com

F

$5.63
Million

Wells Fargo

wellsfargo.com

F

$6
Million

 

Source: opensecrets.org

*2014 “cycle” includes 2013


Take Action Today!

Dump your mega-bank credit card and get a credit card with a responsible bank or credit union!


Notes on Banks’ Lobbying Contributions

From January 2013 to the present, Bank of America and Citigroup spent a combined $8,750,000 on lobbying alone, and in 2012 spent the most in support of the so-called Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act – which would have extended tax cuts for the top 2% of taxpayers, or those making more than $250,000 each year. i

In 2013 Wells Fargo spent $6,000,000 on lobbyists in an effort to weaken regulations from the Dodd-Frank Act that hold banks accountable for risky and illegal behavior. ii

Discover also lobbied against certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, including protections from bankruptcy for struggling students with high loan payments. iii


JP Morgan Chase spent $5,460,000 on lobbying since 2013, the majority in favor of HR 677, the “Inter-Affiliate Swap Act,” which would have exempted complex and risky financial transactions (certain types of swaps and securities-based swaps) from regulations that have been in place since 1934. iv


Citigroup currently has 31 employees listed as having passed through the “revolving door” between high-level public and private sector positions, making it one of the most influential corporations on our government.v JP Morgan Chase has 28 employees who have held influential positions in both the public and private sectors, vi and Bank of America has 7. vii

i http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2012/08/01/house-votes-to-extend-tax-cuts-accomplishes-nothing/

ii https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientissues_spec.php?id=D000019743&year=2014&spec=HOU

iii https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/lobby.php?id=D000018253

iv http://www.opensecrets.org/usearch/?q=albina&cx=010677907462955562473%3Anlldkv0jvam&cof=FORID%3A11

v https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr677#summary

vi https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/search_result.php?priv=Citigroup

vii https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/search_result.php?priv=JPMorgan+Chase+%26+Co

viii https://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/search_result.php?priv=Bank+of+America

Green America compared the volume of credit card related complaints filed by consumers with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the settlements reached by the CFPB with banks.

The result? Megabanks generate thousands of complaints per year for their credit card practices, and several have settled with the CFPB for millions of dollars as compared to community development banks, which generated zero (0) complaints and no settlements.


Scorecard for Customer Complaints:



Download this scorecard as PDF »

Bank

Grade

Volume of Complaints

Settlements

Albina

albinabank.com

A

0

-

Beneficial State Bank

beneficialstatebank.com

A

0

-

Hope Credit Union

hopecu.org

A

0

-

Southern BanCorp

banksouthern.com

A

0

-

Sunrise Bank

banksouthern.com

A

0

-

US Bank

usbank.com

C

1409

-

Wells Fargo

wellsfargo.com

C

2328

-

American Express

americanexpress.com

D

3615

$59.5 Million+$85 Million

Citi

citi.com

D

9347

-

Discover

discover.com

D

2501

$200 Million

Bank of America

bankofamerica.com

F

5830

$727 Million

Capital One

capitalone.com

F

8380

$140 Million

Chase

chase.com

F

6078

$309 Million

 

Take Action Today!

Dump your mega-bank credit card and get a credit card with a responsible bank or credit union!

If you have a complaint regarding your credit card issuer, report it to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).


Notes on Banks Credit Card Practices, Consumer Complaints and Settlements

The CFPB reports that the top consumer complaints regarding credit cards involve (in descending order of frequency): billing disputes (17%), other (13%), identity theft/fraud/embezzlement (11%), closing/cancelling account (6%), APR or interest rate (6%), advertising mar- keting (5%), customer service (4%), delinquent account (4%), late fee (4%), transaction issue (4%) (source: CFPB: Consumer Response An- nual Report, January 1-December 31, 2014).

CFPB settlements with megabanks are most often in relation to the banks’ promotion of add-on products and services to consumers without accurately disclosing information about the product or service or failing to actually deliver the product or service.

The data for the scorecard came from the following sources: Complaint data regarding credit cards as made available on the CFPB website (from the databases’ inception (12/1/11) to 7/1/15); settlements reported by the CFPB on its website. The rankings were then weighted to take account of the relative size of credit card activity for each bank based on purchase volume and cards in circulation (data pulled from cardhub.com and creditcards.com).