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$3M Settlement Reached in FNB Overdraft Fees Class Action Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the Excessive Bank Overdraft Fees lawsuit.

Pittsburgh, PA: First National Bank of Pennsylvania will pay $3 million in settlement of a consumer banking class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by customers of the Hermitage, Mercer County-based FNB, which is the third biggest retail bank in the Pittsburgh region. The lawsuit charged that FNB re-sequenced customers' debit card purchases from high to low dollar amounts, rather than processing them in the order in which they actually occurred, which can send a customer' account into overdraft more rapidly, and thereby trigger overdraft fees.

While FNB has agreed to the settlement funds, it will not change its policy of processing check and debit card transactions from the highest amount to the lowest.

Under the settlement with FNB, the bank will set up a $3 million fund, less one-third for attorney fees, to distribute to customers hurt by the high-to-low policy any time between June 1, 2006, and Feb. 8, 2013. Eligible class members will receive information on applying for compensation by mail.

FNB also reportedly agreed to state explicitly in account disclosures that the bank processes check, ATM, point-of-sale and ACH debit items from highest amount to lowest. The disclosure will inform customers that the practice could trigger "the imposition of additional fees."

A final settlement hearing on the settlement was set for June 21.

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Published on Feb-13-13


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