PNC Bank to pay $90M to resolve overdraft lawsuit
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man dies in jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- Penguins notebook: Flyers’ success in Pittsburgh stems from power play
- Developer delays renovation plans for Northway Mall
- Police investigate pair of fatal rush hour incidents in Shaler, Marshall
- Pirates notebook: Reliever Holdzkom among three players cut
- Obama vetoes union election bill; streamlined election process to move forward
- Monessen police investigating drive-by shooting
- Pa. Supreme Court upholds special prosecutor appointed to investigate leaks from Kane’s office
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Husband of accused drug-dealing teacher faces his own drug, intimidation charges
- Man awaiting trial for offering drugs to 2 teens found hanged in his Belle Vernon home