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Bank of Hawaii receives class-action lawsuit regarding overdraft fees


Recently, a class-action lawsuit against the Bank of Hawaii, the state's second-largest bank, was settled.

The lawsuit alleges the bank improperly charged overdraft fees for debit card transactions. In addition, the plaintiffs claim the bank systematically re-ordered debit card transactions from the highest dollar amount to the lowest, which allowed it to deplete customers' available funds as soon as possible while maximizing the number of overdraft fees.

As a result, the Bank of Hawaii must now pay each of its customers that had received at least one overdraft fee during the previous five years. In all, the bank will pay out $9 million to these plaintiffs. Currently, the number of plaintiffs is unclear, however, the issued funds would refund affected customers and cover their attorney fees.

Similar lawsuits have also been filed against the state's third- and fourth-largest banks, the American Savings Bank and Central Pacific Bank, respectively.

The case highlights the importance of companies following legal business practices. Failure to comply to such regulations can result in expensive lawsuits involving a business' professional liability. 

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