* $110 million accord wins preliminary approval
* More than 30 lenders accused of gouging customers
* Bank of America $410 million settlement is largest so far
May 25 JPMorgan Chase & Co won
preliminary court approval of its agreement to pay $110 million
to settle nationwide litigation accusing it of charging
excessive overdraft fees.
The settlement would resolve lawsuits brought on behalf of
more than 1 million people over the fees, which are assessed
when customers overdraw their checking accounts by using their
Consumers accused more than 30 lenders of trying to boost
overdraft fees, which are typically $25 to $35, by reordering
transactions from largest to smallest rather than processing
them in chronological order.
This can cause fees to be incurred sooner and more often
because account balances fall more quickly.
In a Thursday order, U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King
in Miami, who oversees the nationwide litigation, called the
JPMorgan settlement fair, reasonable and adequate, and certified
a class of plaintiffs.
Customers may opt out of the settlement. A final hearing is
scheduled for Dec. 10.
Bank of America Corp's $410 million settlement is
the largest in the overdraft litigation.
Other banks to settle include Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Plc's Citizens Financial unit, which agreed to pay
$137.5 million, and Toronto Dominion Bank, which agreed
to pay $62 million. Several smaller banks have also settled.
The Citizens and TD accords await court approval.
The case is In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation,
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, No.