A proposed class action lawsuit claims that City National Bank of West Virginia illegally charged its account holders multiple “non-sufficient funds” (NSF) fees on single transactions.
The lead plaintiff says she attempted to make a $25 purchase that was rejected by the bank due to insufficient funds and was charged a $36 NSF fee as a result. A week later, the plaintiff claims, the defendant re-processed the same transaction and charged an additional NSF fee before repeating the process again.
All told, the plaintiff alleges that City National Bank attempted to process the same purchase on five separate occasions and charged a total of $180 in fees despite rejecting the transaction. The plaintiff also claims she had been charged multiple NSF fees for a single transaction on previous occasions.
Though the case concedes that banks are allowed to charge multiple NSF fees for one item, it argues that other banks clearly disclose this practice in their terms of service. City National Bank does not, according to the suit.
The complaint states that the defendant’s terms and conditions allow for NSF fees but make no mention of charging multiple identical fees for the same transaction and imply that these penalties may only be charged once per item. According to the case, the defendant’s practice of charging multiple fees on the same rejected transaction constitutes a breach of contract. From the case:
“In sum, City National promises that one $36 NSF Fee will be assessed per check or recurring payment, and these terms must mean all iterations of the same instruction for payment. As such, City National breached the contract when it charged more than one fee per item.”
The suit requests that proposed class members receive compensation for any illegal fees charged.