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Class-action lawsuit filed against City National Bank

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A South Charleston resident who claims he was unfairly assessed hundreds of dollars of overdraft fees has filed a class-action lawsuit against City National Bank.

Thomas Casto claims he and other customers were charged overdraft fees because City National manipulated the way debit card transactions were posted.

Casto claims that City National:

* Engages in a systematic policy of re-ordering debit card transactions from the highest to lowest dollar amount so as to deplete the customer's available funds as quickly as possible while maximizing the number of overdraft fees.

* Charges overdraft fees even in situations where in fact a customer has not overdrawn his checking account.

* Charges overdraft fees even in situations where City National in fact did not pay out more funds than were in the customer's checking account.

* Fails to provide accurate account balance information on the bank's website or at the point of sale.

Craig Stilwell, City's executive vice president of marketing, human resources and retail banking, said, "City National Bank has not received nor had an opportunity to review the complaint, and we cannot comment on it specifically. However, the bank treats its customers fairly, and its actions comply with applicable law.

"Further, we meet or exceed the industry joint agency guidance on overdraft protection programs set forth by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC and the NCUA, and any allegations in the press release to the contrary are false," Stilwell said. "When we are served with any such complaint, we will mount a vigorous defense."

The lawsuit was filed in Kanawha Circuit Court on June 17. The Charleston law firm Bailey & Glasser represents Casto. The firm said it is teaming with the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Tycko & Zavareei in the lawsuit.

Tycko & Zavareei represents clients who have filed what appear to be similar lawsuits against Fifth Third Bank, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Citizens Bank, a unit of Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Financial Group Inc.

Contact writer George Hohmann at or 304-348-4836.


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