WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) and the People of the State of New York today settled claims against Sterling Jewelers Inc.
The Bureau’s and the State’s parallel investigations found that Sterling violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by opening store credit-card accounts without customer consent; enrolling customers in payment-protection insurance without their consent; and misrepresenting to consumers the financing terms associated with the credit-card accounts. The Bureau also found that Sterling violated the Truth in Lending Act by signing customers up for credit-card accounts without having received an oral or written request or application from them. The State of New York found that Sterling violated several provisions of state law.
Under the settlement, Sterling will pay a $10 million civil money penalty to the Bureau and a $1 million civil money penalty to the State of New York. Sterling has also agreed to injunctive relief designed to prevent the continuation of the claimed illegal conduct.
Sterling is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and does business throughout the United States. Sterling operates over 1,500 jewelry stores under several names, including Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, JB Robinson Jewelers, Marks & Morgan Jewelers, Belden Jewelers, Goodman Jewelers, LeRoy’s Jewelers, Osterman Jewelers, Rogers Jewelers, Shaw’s Jewelers, and Weisfield Jewelers. Sterling is a wholly owned subsidiary of Signet Jewelers Limited, the largest specialty-jewelry retailer in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.