Credit Union League joins data breach suit

The Nevada Credit Union League has joined a consolidated class action lawsuit filed last month in U.S. District Court in Atlanta that claims the 2014 Home Depot data breach caused billions of dollars in fraud losses and more than $150 million in card reissuance costs.

The 102-page lawsuit listed 37 credit unions, 16 state leagues, Credit Union National Association and 11 banks as plaintiffs. In Nevada, the data breach cost credit unions $213,000 and affected 26,700 debit and credit card account holders.

Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the Nevada Credit Union League, says joining this case came down to one issue: “consumer data needs to be protected.”

Although the Nevada Credit Union League was a plaintiff, no Las Vegas-based credit union was among the 37 credit unions listed as plaintiffs.

According to the lawsuit, from April 2014 to September, Home Depot was subject to one of the largest retail data breaches in which the personal and financial information of 56 million customers nationwide was stolen.

The information was sold online to thieves who made a massive number of fraudulent transactions on credit and debit cards.

“Industry sources estimate that community banks and credit unions — which together issued only a fraction of the compromised cards — incurred more than $150 million in reissuance costs alone,” the lawsuit said. “Industry sources further estimate that the total fraud losses for all financial institutions are in the billions of dollars.”

The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified monetary judgment for the 37 credit union and 11 banks to compensate for their losses. It also claims Home Depot’s data security measures remain inadequate because fraudulent charges are still being made on payment cards financial institutions issued to Home Depot customers.

That’s a claim a Home Depot spokesman vigorously denies.

“We’ll vigorously defend this in the proper forum, but I can tell you we strongly disagree with that claim,” Stephen Holmes, a spokesman for Home Depot in Atlanta, told the Las Vegas Business Press in an email.

Home Depot operates 12 stores in Southern Nevada, according to a listing of locations on the company’s website.

Weatherized ATMs coming

Summer is here and temperatures will hover around 100 to 105 degrees for months. Most people don’t realize the problems caused by the excessive heat on something as simple as an ATM.

But NCR and Wells Fargo believe they’ve fixed any problems the heat can cause ATMs. They have launched a new line of weather-resistant, full-service ATMs.

The market’s existing weatherized ATMs can only dispense cash, NCR said, but the NCR SelfServ 37, can withstand humidity, rain and temperatures ranging from minus 31 degrees to 113 degrees.

Tony Timmons, a spokesman with Wells Fargo in Las Vegas, said the bank has four of these ATMs installed in Northern Nevada — Gardnerville, Fernley and two in Reno — “with plans for more in Zephyr Cove and Las Vegas later this year.”

Because the ATMs don’t need an external structure to protect them, the SelfServ 37 can also take deposits, cash checks and offer bill pay from free-standing outdoor locations. The new ATM is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to NCR.

Big 3 banks take in $1B in overdrafts

They are those annoying fees that can cost you $25 to $35 every time you bounce a check, or don’t have enough money in your account to cover that Grande Starbucks coffee.

Known as overdraft fees, they’ve become a crucial source of revenue for some of the nation’s largest banks. For example, the nation’s three largest banks collectively hauled in $1.14 billion from overdraft fees during the first quarter, according to data compiled by SNL Financial.

JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank each reported more than $350 million in overdraft fees. Beginning this year, banks with more than $1 billion in assets were required to report overdraft fees to consumer on transactions and nontransaction deposit products intended primarily for consumers.

In total, SNL Financial found, about 600 banks filed the new overdraft data in the first quarter and they took in $2.51 billion.

City National merger OK’d

Shareholders of City National Corp., parent of City National Bank, have overwhelmingly approved a merger with the Royal Bank of Canada.

At a recent special meeting to vote on the merger, 40.6 million shares voted in favor of the $5.4 billion deal. That represents 99.6 percent of shares voting, and 73.1 percent of all City National shares outstanding.

Russell Goldsmith, chairman and CEO of City National, said the approval reflects what an “outstanding opportunity this merger is for City National’s clients, colleagues, communities and shareholders.”

City National, which has eight branches in Nevada, and RBC expect the merger to close during the fourth quarter.

Plaza Bank to complete deal in June

Plaza Bank’s $21.19 million acquisition of Bank of Manhattan in El Segundo, Calif., will close this month as the deal will add five new branches and push its assets to $1 billion.

Gene Galloway, the bank’s president and CEO, told the Business Press he is negotiating a lease for a full-service branch in northern Sand Diego County. Galloway expects the branch to open within 90 days, giving Plaza Bank eight branches.

As for Las Vegas, Galloway said first he has to get through this merger, but then he’ll start looking here. He said realistically nothing would happened in Southern Nevada until “the first quarter of 2016, but it certainly is on our radar.”

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