Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Settles Claims with Sterling Jewelers, Inc.
Jewelry Retailer Enrolled Customers in Credit Cards and Related Products Without Their Consent
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.
Copies of the complaint and the proposed consent order filed in federal district court in the Southern District of New York are available at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_sterling-jewelers_complaint.pdf and https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_sterling-jewelers_proposed-consent-order.pdf
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.