ATM Class Action Settlement for Fee Conspiracy (JP Morgan, Wells Fargo & Bank of America)

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the three biggest banks of the United States for conspiring with credit card companies and inflating the ATM fees. As a result, consumers had to bear more expenses while trying to use any ATM service. Though the defendants have not agreed to the claim, they have given a go-ahead to the claim settlement which has been detailed below.

Eligibility For Making Claim: For being eligible to claim this settlement, consumers must have paid an unreimbursed ATM access fee to the defendants’ JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America, or any other bank that is a member of the Mastercard or Visa networks for out-of-network ATM transactions that took place between 1st October 2007 and 12th November 2021.

Proof Of Purchase: No proof of purchase applicable.

Potential Claim Amount: It is impossible to make payment estimates as we do not know how many claims will be filed. Payments will be distributed among consumers on a pro-rata basis. The settlement administrator expects that payments shall be remitted within six months if no appeals are filed. However, this timeline could be extended by delays and appeals.

Case Summary:  ATM fees can be legally charged by credit unions, banks, and other financial institutions provided they disclose the same to customers properly. As per the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, financial institutions need to inform the customer in writing regarding when and how much fees they shall be charged before actually charging them.

ATM fees should be disclosed on the machine screen for the customers to view before they make a transaction. A service fee might also be levied by the owner of the ATM, be it an independent machine operator or another bank over and above the charges levied by the customer’s bank.

Three of the largest banks in the United States, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America have been accused of inflating ATM fees by conspiring with credit card companies. They have agreed to a $66.7 million settlement for resolving claims on unfair out-of-network ATM fees. The lead plaintiffs argued that the three banks facilitated, implemented, and orchestrated a conspiracy for fixing steep ATM fees charged to customers.

This price-fixing was accomplished via bank contracts supported by popular credit card companies comprising of Visa and Mastercard. These companies prevented independent ATM operators from reducing their prices for beating the competition. According to the class action complaint, the unlawful agreements determined a price floor for ATM access fees around the country thus depriving consumers of the benefits which arise out of natural price competition. The class-action lawsuit contends that without this alleged agreement, consumers would have paid considerably fewer fees.

The settlement is going to benefit consumers who paid an unreimbursed ATM access fee for out-of-network ATM transactions between 1st October 2007 and 12th November 2021 directly to JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America, or any other bank that is a member of the Mastercard or Visa networks. Plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit made all claims under the Sherman Act, which is a federal antitrust law. Though the three banks have denied any wrongdoing, they agreed to settle all claims against them with this class action settlement.

Bank of America will be paying $26.42 million, Wells Fargo will be paying $20.82 million, and JP Morgan will be paying $19.5 million for contributing to the settlement fund. Payments from the settlement will depend on an array of factors including administrative and counsel fees and other deductions from the settlement. Once these deductions approved by the court have been implemented, the net settlement fund shall be distributed among customers. The last date for claimants to exclude themselves from or object to the settlement is 11th March 2022.

Claim Form: https://www.atmclassaction.com/claims

Deadline for Submitting Claim: 05/11/2022

Final Hearing Date: 05/17/2022

Settlement Pool: $66 million

Settlement Website: ATMClassAction.com

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Categorized as Settlement