The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered GE Capital Retail Bank (GE Capital), now known as Synchrony Bank, to refund nearly $225m in relief to consumers harmed by illegal and discriminatory credit card practices.

The consumer watchdog further asked the lender to pay back $56m to nearly 638,000 consumers who were subjected to deceptive marketing practices.

As part of the joint enforcement action initiated by the CFPB and Department of Justice (DoJ), GE Capital will also provide extra $169m to about 108,000 borrowers excluded from debt relief offers due to their national origin.

Reports emerged that out of $169m settlement amount, GE Capital has already paid $131.8m to the consumers affected by the discrimination.

The agency and the DoJ accused the lender for using discriminating practices against Spanish-speaking consumers and used misleading marketing practices for selling credit card products.

During the investigation, it was found that approximately 750,000 consumers sustained losses by illegal credit card practices.

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CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, "Today’s action will provide $225 million in relief to GE Capital credit card customers who were harmed by deceptive marketing or discrimination."

"We will continue to take action against marketing tactics that trick consumers into buying credit card products they do not want or cannot use.

"Consumers also deserve to be treated fairly no matter where they live or what language they speak," Cordray added.

Department of Justice Civil Rights Division acting assistant attorney General Jocelyn Samuels commented, "Borrowers have the right to credit card terms that do not differ based on their national origin, and the settlement today sends the message that the Justice Department can and will vigorously enforce the law against lenders who violate that right."