Bank of America settles suit over add-ons
Bank of America Corp. is paying $772 million in fines and refunds to settle regulators’ accusations that it misled customers who bought extra credit-card products and illegally charged others for credit monitoring and reporting services they didn’t receive. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced the agreement with the second-largest U.S. bank. It is the largest settlement over credit card “add-ons” won by federal regulators, who have been examining the marketing of the products by the financial industry for several years. Bank of America neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The bank said it has issued refunds to the majority of affected customers.
Regulators to seek two-man oil train crews
Responding to a series of fiery train derailments, federal regulators said they will propose that trains transporting crude oil have at least two-man crews and requirements aimed at preventing parked train cars from coming loose and causing an accident like one in July that killed 47 people. The Federal Railroad Administration had asked a freight rail industry advisory committee to make recommendations on whether two-man crews should be required, but the industry officials were unable to reach a consensus after working on the issue for months. Federal officials said they decided to move ahead with the two-crew member requirement anyway.
T-Mobile offers plan without excess data fees
T-Mobile US introduced a mobile-phone plan that will prevent users from exceeding their data limits and incurring extra charges. For $40 a month, a customer can get as much as 500 megabytes of fourth-generation LTE data service, along with unlimited talk and text messages, T-Mobile said. The Simple Starter plan, which starts Saturday and doesn’t require an annual contract, won’t charge overage fees because customers won’t be able to use more than their data allotment. Instead, they will be prompted to pay more. Chief Executive John Legere said the plan is designed to be a “predictable, affordable solution” for new, price-sensitive customers.
Ally stock IPO gains U.S. Treasury $2.38B
The Treasury Department has raised $2.38 billion after selling a large chunk of its stock in Ally Financial Inc. as part of the government’s ongoing effort to recoup the billions of dollars spent bailing out companies during the 2008 financial crisis. The Treasury said it got $25 each for the 95 million shares it sold in an initial public offering. The pricing of the IPO came at the low end of the forecast range of $25 to $28 per share. The sale brought the amount it has recouped from the bailout of Ally to $17.7 billion, slightly more than the $17.2 billion the government had put up.
P&G selling pet food brands to Mars for $2.9B
Procter & Gamble is selling some of its pet food brands to Mars Inc. for $2.9 billion as part of its turnaround plan that includes concentrating on its most profitable core businesses. The world’s biggest consumer products maker, whose products include Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste, announced that it is selling the Iams, Eukanuba and Natura brands in North America, Latin America and certain other countries. Mars, which is better known for its candy brands, already owns pet care brands such as Pedigree, Whiskas and Banfield.
FROM NEWS SERVICES