Can we charge Bank of America an overdraft fee? The San Francisco Gate writes:
Bank of America has agreed to pay $410 million to settle a lawsuit in which the lender is accused of manipulating debit transactions to maximize overdraft fees. The agreement is believed to be the first financial settlement by a large bank in a case alleging deceptive overdraft practices. It may presage the outcome of related claims against 30 other lending institutions, including Wells Fargo, Citibank, Chase, Union Bank and U.S. Bank.
San Francisco’s Wells Fargo is embroiled in a separate lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco brought by California customers. That case started before the multistate legal action, but has not concluded because Wells has filed an appeal.
In August, U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued a scathing ruling ordering Wells Fargo to pay its California clients $203 million. He said the bank’s goal was to “maximize the number of overdrafts and squeeze as much as possible” out of customers.
The crux of the claims against all the banks is that they processed debit transactions from largest to smallest, instead of the order in which they occurred, depleting accounts faster and boosting the number of overdrafts, which cost as much as $35 per transaction.