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Volume: 14 Issue: 6
(June 2017)

Keywords:
financial services enforcement telemarketing

Jurisdictions:
usa

USA: "Unfavourable outcome" for Bank of America following telephone privacy violations

The Ventura County District Attorney (‘DA’), Gregory D. Totten, announced, on 13 June 2017, that his office, along with the Los Angeles, Riverside, Alameda and San Diego District Attorneys’ Offices, had settled a $1.9 million action against Bank of America Corporation (‘BoA’). The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleged that BoA violated Sections 632 and 632.7 of the California Penal Code 1872 (‘the Code’) by failing to timely and adequately disclose its automatic recording of phone calls with members of the public.

Joan Antokol, Managing Partner at Park Legal LLC, highlighted, “The BoA was reportedly conducting calls without informing consumers about the recording for several years, and presumably, the State received some information about the number of violative calls that took place […] As such, the BoA is, in some ways, a repeat offender when it comes to its telephone calling practices to bank customers […] When you take an organisation that is already on the radar of regulators for other violations, and couple that with one of the strictest and largest DA’s offices in the US (i.e., Los Angeles County), you are likely to see an unfavourable outcome for the defendant, as was the case here. The penalty is actually quite fair. Indeed, when a customer discusses their financial information with their bank, they certainly do not expect the call to be recorded without their knowledge and permission.”

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