TribLIVE

| Home

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

PNC Bank to pay $90M to resolve overdraft lawsuit

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Thomas Olson
Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 2:50 p.m.
 

PNC Bank agreed to pay $90 million to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed the Pittsburgh bank manipulated debit card transactions to generate excessive overdraft fees, lawyers said Tuesday.

The litigation, part of a class-action lawsuit against more than 30 banks, alleged PNC computer systems altered the sequence of customers' debit card and automated teller machine transactions. By listing them in highest-to-lowest dollar amounts, the bank created extra overdraft fees, the lawsuit claimed.

At least “several hundred thousand” PNC customers in Pennsylvania and other states were allegedly overcharged for debit and ATM overdrafts between 2004 and mid-2010, estimated plaintiffs attorney Robert Gilbert, a partner at Grossman Roth in Miami, where the lawsuit is pending.

A bank customer with $100 in his checking account, for instance, might use a debit card one day to buy a $10 breakfast, $20 lunch, $50 gift and $40 dinner. Presented in that order, those debits would trigger one overdraft fee with the dinner debit. But when manipulated and presented from highest to lowest debit amounts, the transactions would generate two overdraft fees.

PNC spokesman Fred Solomon said the bank does not comment on litigation matters.

“This is an outstanding recovery,” Gilbert said. “We are extremely pleased to have achieved this result for PNC's customers who were adversely affected by this anti-consumer practice.”

The class-action lawsuit makes similar excessive-overdraft claims against such major banks as Citibank, Wells Fargo and US Bank.

PNC is one of several large bank defendants to settle the claims so far. Citizens Financial Group, the parent of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania and Charter One Bank in Ohio, settled for $137.5 million at the end of April.

Bank of America reached a $410 million settlement of the case in May, and JPMorgan Chase reached a $110 million preliminary settlement in February.

Those settlements and the PNC settlement are expected to be presented to U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence King for approval in Miami later this summer.

Thomas Olson is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or at tolson@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
  2. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  3. Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
  4. Rising East Liberty out of reach for Pittsburgh’s poor
  5. Juvenile shot in North Versailles neighborhood
  6. Leschak Automotive advances to second round in DNL playoffs
  7. Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
  8. Traffic detour lifted
  9. Crane topples over into Perry North demolition site; no one injured
  10. Former Cal U football player cleared of assault charges sues university, police, prosecutor
  11. House Benghazi panel says State Department to hand over documents Tuesday