US payday lender Enova has been fined $15 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Burea (CFPB) and banned from offering short-term loans in the wake of "widespread illegal conduct".
The consumer watchdog says the online lender withdrew funds from customers’ bank accounts without their permission, made deceptive statements about loans, and cancelled loan extensions.
Enova is a repeat offender in this regard, having been docked $3.2 million in 2019 and ordered to clean up its act.
For violating that order and continuing to break the law, Enova is now banned from offering certain consumer loans, must provide redress to the consumers it harmed, and is required to tie executive compensation to the company’s compliance with federal consumer financial protection laws.
“Enova decided to keep flouting the law after it was caught taking advantage of its customers, and violated a law enforcement order,” says CFPB director Rohit Chopra. “Today’s action imposes a $15 million penalty, bans the company from certain lines of business, and reforms executive compensation.”
In reponse, the firm says that the issues affected a small portion of its customers and arose from "unintentional technical systems and processing errors which have since been addressed".
Ranning Li, president of consumer lending at Enova comments: "We take any errors in our systems very seriously, especially those that impact our customers, and will continue to invest in our technology, systems and compliance processes to prevent, identify and ensure appropriate resolution of errors."