Santander Consumer USA, Santander’s consumer finance company in the United States, has reached an agreement with 33 states and the District of Columbia, for which it contributes 72 million dollars, some 66 million euros, and renounces claiming debts from customers from those who financed the purchase of cars.
Nor will it seize the cars purchased by these clients, who already accumulated with the financial defaults for about 45 million dollars, more than 41 million euros at the current exchange rate, explain sources of the group.
In a statement, the entity argues that this is a “voluntary” agreement to resolve a matter dating back to 2010, which in no way implies acknowledging that it has committed a violation, sources close to Efe added.
The same sources put the cost of that pact at $ 72 million, of which $ 65 million would be for clients and the rest to bear research and administrative costs.
In the United States, until a few years ago, when a consumer wanted to buy a car, the dealership itself valued the customer’s profile, which did not prevent in some cases the reported income from being higher than the real ones, in order to pave the operation and get a loan through a consumer finance company, be it Santander Consumer or any other.
However, this practice began to be questioned by many states when it was found that some consumers had bought cars with loans that they were unable to pay.
In the case of Santander Consumer USA, 33 states and the District of Columbia alleged that the company financed in 2010 the purchase of cars through some dealerships without complying with consumer protection laws due to the high risk that some customers could not pay for them. .
To settle this matter, whose investigation began in 2014, Santander Consumer USA has signed the voluntary agreement and highlights that it already has the necessary provisions to cover it, therefore, it will not have to make an additional effort.
He also takes the opportunity to point out that the entity has cooperated “constantly” with the states during the investigation, and the agreement has no material impact on the operations of the financial institution, nor of the Santander subsidiary in the United States, nor on the ability to give customer service.
Santander Consumer USA ensures that it is a responsible financial company, operating in a “highly regulated” environment and with the highest standards of large financial institutions: rigorous risk management and control, a strict regulatory compliance policy and careful supervision .
In addition, it adds, in recent years, it has reinforced the risk management policy, with improvements in internal regulations and procedures to identify and prevent misconduct by dealers, while reinforcing controls to ensure payment capacity.