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One of the largest licensed lenders in the US will pay a $15 million fine for “widespread illegal conduct” including withdrawing funds from customers’ bank accounts without their consent.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says it’s banning the Chicago-based lender Enova from offering certain consumer loans after the firm violated orders to change its deceptive practices.

The CFPB says Enova withdrew or tried to withdraw funds from consumers’ bank accounts without obtaining their express informed consent. The lender also canceled loan extensions that it had promised to consumers and misrepresented due dates for loan payments.

Enova was fined $3.2 million for similar issues back in 2019, and CFPB director Rohit Chopra says the company violated the agency’s orders to change its ways.

“Enova decided to keep flouting the law after it was caught taking advantage of its customers, and violated a law enforcement order.

Today’s action imposes a $15 million penalty, bans the company from certain lines of business, and reforms executive compensation.”

Enova says the majority of the items in question were self-reported by Enova to the CFPB, and the lender says it has already provided “appropriate redress” to customers who were affected.

“While the errors identified in this settlement are similar to those addressed in the 2019 order, they do not arise from deliberate attempts to avoid law, but instead resulted from unintended computer and system errors.

However, with any complex system or process, it is impossible to eliminate all errors. Since there is no established regulatory standard for satisfactory performance, any subsequent errors, no matter how infrequent or insubstantial, constitute an offense.”

Enova operates in 37 states through its CashNetUSA and NetCredit-branded subsidiaries, offering unsecured installment loans and lines of credit.

The firm says it has nine-million customers and has funded $52 billion in loans.

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