Business-card sales practices of American Express are reportedly being probed by the US federal regulators.

Citing people familiar with the development, The Wall Street Journal reported that federal investigators are probing whether American Express deployed ‘aggressive and misleading’ sales tactics to sell cards to small business.

The inspectors general offices of the Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Federal Reserve will also probe whether these sales practices harmed customers.

American Express shares fell 4.1% to $118.07 in New York on a report that the company is being probed by federal investigators.

To boost sales numbers, some salesperson “strong-armed or misled” small-business owners into signing up for cards, several current and former employees of AmEx previously told The Wall Street Journal.

The undisclosed sources also revealed that sales staff “misrepresented card rewards and fees, or issued cards that customers hadn’t sought.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

According to the report, federal regulators are also probing whether ‘specific employees’ contributed to the alleged behavior and if higher-level employees backed these unlawful sales practices.

AmEx said it had been cooperating with a regulatory probe in to its small business card sales between 2015 and 2016.

“We have conducted a detailed, independent review of these sales from this time period, and found no evidence of a pattern of misleading sales practices,” the company’s spokesman said in an email to Reuters.