The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first three fines have been against credit card companies for deceptive and illegal practices.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new regulatory agency that is the brainchild of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and was set up under the auspices of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform bill, was slow to get off the ground. Its appointed director, former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray, only took the helm of the agency in January 2012.

In just three months of enforcement and only three actions (all against credit card companies) the CFPB has won refunds and restitution for customers of $425 million and has assessed civil penalties paid to the Bureau of $46.1 million. The first three cases were against:

Capital One, July 18, 2012 – Amount: $210 million for deceptive marketing practices used in selling products and services to its credit customers.

Discover, Sept. 24, 2012 – Amount: $214 million for deceptive selling and marketing of so-called “add-on products” by a major credit card company without the customer’s knowledge.

American Express, Oct. 1, 2012 – Amount: $112.5 million. The CFPB found that American Express companies had told customers they would receive $300 for signing up with a certain program; charged illegally high late payment fees; used different credit ratings for customers based on age, a violation of federal lending laws; failed to fully report customer disputes to credit bureaus; and told customers that paying off old debt would improve their credit scores when, in fact, American Express was not reporting the payments at all.