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JPMorgan Sued For High Charges For Crypto Purchases With Credit Card

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A lawsuit has been filed against banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. for allegedly charging customers with substantially higher interest rates and extra fees for buying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with their credit cards. The filing also alleged that the bank refused to refund the charges after customers' complaints.

Brady Tucker, a Chase credit-card customer in Idaho, filed the suit in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, noting that the bank charged the fees when it stopped cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards in late January. The bank then treated his cryptocurrency buys as cash advances and charged him interest rates of as much as 30 percent a year, and additional fees.

Tucker seeks a refund of all related fees plus $1 million in damages, accusing Chase of violating the U.S. Truth in Lending Act. Under the Act, credit card issuers need to notify customers in writing of any significant change in charges or terms.

He added that hundreds or possibly thousands of other Chase customers were also hit by such charges.

In the class-action lawsuit, Tucker has cited JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon's comments last year calling Bitcoin a fraud. Dimon had later regreted saying those comments.

Tucker said in his lawsuit, "It appears that in addition to firing its 'stupid' employees, Chase elected to start fining its 'stupid' customers: unilaterally."

Chase spokeswoman Mary Jane Rogers reportedly stated that the bank stopped processing credit card purchases of cryptocurrency on February 3 because of the credit risk involved. She noted that customers can use their Chase debit cards to buy digital currencies from their checking accounts without cash advance charges.

Most banking majors, including Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Bank of America, and Citigroup, have banned the use of credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, citing the risks amid the highly fluctuating value of bitcoin and other digital currencies.

According to a February survey conducted among 3,000 people by cryptocurrency news service CoinDesk, about a fifth of cryptocurrency owners bought the currency using their credit cards. It revealed that about 20 percent of the respondents used cards to make the purchase.

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