UnionBanCal Corp. customers may sue as a group over the bank’s overdraft-fee policy, a judge ruled in certifying the first class-action case in litigation against dozens of banks. The ruling by U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King in Miami may affect hundreds of thousands of customers of the San Francisco-based bank. The judge also said customers can’t pursue a racketeering claim against the bank, which does business as Union Bank NA and is a unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. Customers are suing 30 banks, claiming they illegally charged excessive overdraft fees. The cases were consolidated before King for the pretrial collection of evidence.
In February, Bank of America Corp., the biggest bank in the U.S., agreed to pay $410 million to settle allegations against it. Institutions, including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., are Defendants in related lawsuits. Aaron Podhurst, a lawyer with Podhurst, Orsack, a firm located in Miami, is the lead lawyer for the Plaintiffs in the Union Bank case.
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