Bank of Oklahoma is being sued for some of the same practices used by Wells Fargo to maximize overdraft fees:
The action, filed last week in Tulsa County District Court, lists Susan Eaton as the lead plaintiff and seeks certification as a class action.
The complaint alleges that BOK reorders electronic debit transactions from the highest dollar amount to lowest dollar amount, which depletes customers’ available funds as quickly as possible and maximizes the number of overdraft fees. According to the lawsuit, the bank did not adequately disclose in its account agreement that it posts transactions from the highest to lowest dollar amount. The lawsuit further alleges that “BOK’s practices ensure that smaller charges will result in multiple overdraft fees.”
As an example, “transactions made by the plaintiff on or before April 17, 2010, were improperly reordered from high to low, causing two separate overdraft fees. BOK’s improper high-to-low reordering of those transactions doubled the total number of overdraft fees,” the suit states.
A BOk Financial spokesman sent this response to the Tulsa World:
“This is an opportunistic lawsuit. It was filed on the heels of a trial court judgment against a national bank in California under different circumstances, and it is not reflective of our policies which we are confident are entirely appropriate.”
Wells Fargo, upon losing said judgment, was ordered to pay $203 million to its California customers — which sounds more impressive than it is, since for the period in question (2005-07) WF rolled up $1.8 billion in overdraft fees.
In their defense, Wells Fargo argued that their customers wanted and benefited from high to low transaction processing, saying that depositors would rather have multiple small transactions bounce than a single rent payment bounce. However, at trial they did not present any evidence beyond the hypothetical to support this notion.
And if they had, the snickering in the courtroom would likely have drowned out the presentation.