$4 million settlement reached in bank overdraft fee case against M&T Bank
April 22, 2014 – PE&G partner Nicholas Carlin helped achieve a tentative settlement in a bank overdraft fee case on behalf of a class of M&T Bank customers. The named plaintiff is a Maryland resident who alleged that the bank unlawfully charged her and other bank customers excessive overdraft fees on their debit card transactions. The plaintiff alleged that the bank employed a bookkeeping device to multiply the number of overdraft occurrences its customers would incur, and thereby increase the number of overdraft fees charged to a customers' account. By re-ordering customers' daily debit transactions in a high-to-low order - instead of in the order in which they occurred - the bank depleted account balances as fast as mathematically possible, maximizing the possibility that insufficient funds would be left for the string of lower dollar transactions. Following several months of mediation, M&T Bank agreed to pay $4 million to settle the case. The settlement will be presented for preliminary approval to the federal judge presiding over the case in the near future.