Banco Popular agrees to settle suit alleging faulty fees
By The Star Staff
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (BPPR) has agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle claims it assessed illegal overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees.
The settlement benefits current and former Banco Popular clients who were assessed overdraft (OD) and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees between Feb. 1, 2016 and April 1 of this year.
The deal is the result of the class action lawsuit Soto et al. v. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. The case number is 3:20-CV-01057.
The plaintiffs alleged in the class action suit filed in 2020 that Banco Popular routinely assessed more than one non-sufficient funds fee on the same item and charged both NSF Fees and OD fees on the same item. The suit said the practices breach contractual promises, violate the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and/or result in the bank being unjustly enriched.
The practices of which BPPR is accused in the lawsuit allegedly cause consumers to pay a large sum in fees, on top of whatever their transactions cost.
“BPPR’s customers have been injured by the Bank’s improper practices to the tune of millions of dollars bilked from their accounts in violation of their agreements with BPPR,” the suit said.
While BPPR hasn’t admitted to any wrongdoing, it agreed to a $5.5 million class action settlement to resolve the allegations over fees.
Under the terms of the BPPR fees settlement, class members can receive a cash payment based on the number of overdraft and NSF fees they were assessed by BPPR.
Class members who paid the highest number of fees will receive larger proportional shares of the settlement fund. No payment estimates are available.
Current customers will receive their share of the settlement fund as an account credit. Former customers without active BPPR accounts will receive their settlement payment as a check.
If any funds remain in the settlement after the first round of payments, a second round of payments may be sent to class members who accepted their first payments. Residual funds may instead be distributed to a charitable recipient approved by the court.
The deadline for exclusion and objection is Feb. 12, 2023.
A final approval hearing will be held in Courtroom 4, 3rd Floor, U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, 300 Recinto Sur St., San Juan, PR 00901 on March 14, 2023 at 4 p.m. to determine: (a) whether the settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable and adequate to the settlement class; (b) whether the final approval order should be entered in the same form as the final approval order submitted by the parties with the motion for final approval; (c) whether to approve class counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs, and for a service award for each of the class representatives; and (d) any other matters that may properly be brought before the court in connection with the settlement.
The settlement website is PRBankFeeClassAction.com
The claims administrator is Kroll Settlement Administration LLC in New York.