Bank settles in debit card fee suit

Another major bank has agreed to a multimillion dollar settlement in the Miami-based class action litigation related to bank overdraft fees.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank has agreed to pay $55 million to settle class action lawsuits that accused the bank of improperly manipulating its customers' debit card transactions in order to generate excess overdraft fee revenues. The lawsuits, part of multidistrict litigation involving more than 30 different banks, are pending before U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King in Miami.

The lawsuits claim that U.S. Bank's internal computer system re-sequenced the actual order of its customers' debit card and ATM transactions, by posting them in highest-to-lowest dollar amount rather than in the actual order in which they were initiated by customers and authorized by the bank. According to the lawsuits, U.S. Bank's practice resulted in its customers being charged substantially more in overdraft fees than if the debit card and ATM transactions had been posted in the order in which they were initiated and authorized.

The multidistrict litigation has been overseen by plaintiffs’ attorneys Robert C. Gilbert, Aaron S. Podhurst and Bruce S. Rogow. The U.S. Bank settlement is expected to be presented to the court for preliminary approval within ninety days.

In addition to U.S. Bank , Bank of America has agreed to a $410 million settlement, which was approved last year. Settlements with JPMorgan Chase Bank ($110 million), Citizens Bank ($137.5 million), TD Bank ($62 million) and PNC Bank ($90 million) also have been announced in recent months.