Urban News Staff Reports

A new compilation of regulatory enforcement actions shows that states have collected $17 billion in penalties from financial services companies over the past two decades.

The data was assembled as part of the latest expansion of Violation Tracker, a database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. It is free to use at https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/violation-tracker

“The role of state regulators has become more important than ever, given the weakening of enforcement at the federal level,” said Good Jobs First Research Director Philip Mattera, who leads the work on Violation Tracker.

Good Jobs First collected data on 15,000 successful cases brought by state banking, consumer finance, securities and insurance regulatory agencies over the past two decades with penalties of at least $5,000. The number of cases and penalty amounts vary greatly from state to state.

New Jersey is one of several states that collected more than $100 million in penalties totaling $339 million in 398 cases.

The most aggressive state is New York, whose penalty total is more than $11 billion, derived from 412 cases. Its Department of Financial Services has gone after the world’s biggest financial institutions and has won major settlements such as the $2.2 billion paid by the French bank BNP Paribas for violating international economic sanctions.

California is second in penalties at just over $1 billion but far ahead of all other states in the number of cases with a total of more than 2,000 successful actions. Its biggest settlement was the $225 million paid in 2017 by Ocwen Loan Servicing for mortgage abuses.

Good Jobs First also identified more than 100 cases in which financial regulators from different states brought action jointly and collected about $2 billion in penalties since 2000. The most-penalized companies in these cases are: Citigroup ($251 million), American International Group ($204 million), and Bank of America ($201 million).

With the addition of the new state cases, Violation Tracker now contains 437,000 entries with total penalties of $627 billion. It covers workplace, financial, environmental, safety, healthcare and other actions brought by more than 50 federal and 200 state and local agencies.

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