Yesterday brought a tiny victory to consumers on something that’s mostly ended in the U.S. for some years. The Ontario Superior Court approved a settlement with TD Bank for not fully disclosing that an NSF for one item triggers two NSF charges.
The lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, Tyler Dufault, was 45 cents short on an auto payment from his account. As a result, the item bounced (NSF). But creditors have the ability to re-try/re-process it a second time. Thus, the TD charged two NSF fees of $48 each. Bottom line: 45 cents short in his account triggered $96 in NSF charges.
The class-action lawsuit related to improper (or no) full disclosure to customers that two NSF fees can be triggered. Of course (surprise!) the TD did not admit to anything but settled the class-action suit for $15.9 million. That’s like you and me paying a nickel as TD had annual revenues of $75 billion last year! Lawsuits against all other major banks are ongoing.
If you are one of the 105,000 people caught in this by the TD between February 2, 2019 and November 27, 2023 the settlement will be $88. If it’s happened at one of the other banks, stay tuned for their likely settlements.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the U.S. the average cost of processing an NSF cheque is less than one-half of a penny ($0.005), since it’s entirely automated. Yes, this is one of the predatory charges of banks in general until the Federal Government steps in as they did in the U.S. No – getting an overdraft is a very bad idea with the staggering rates and fees.
Ironically, both the TD and BMO in the U.S. do not charge NSF fees to their southern customers. But here…well…if they can – they will. Will any of the banks change their policies? Not hard to guess that that’s a firm NO. They’ll add two lines to their five to 10 page account disclosure and carry on double charging. Sick, sad but true.