Monterey Bank to Provide Restitution for Certain Debit Card Programs

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recently awarded restitution in the amount of $250,000 to EDebit Pay debit cardholders in a settlement with Monterey County Bank, Monterey, California (MCB). Restitution of over $2 million was ordered in relation to MCB’s Balance Transfer Card credit card. In today’s complex financial world, consumers must not only be supplied with the appropriate fee information, but also actually read and understand it.

MCB, under agreement of a Consent Order will also pay $500,000 in civil penalties and donate $300,000 toward consumer financial education and counseling. According to the FDIC Consent Order, the restitution plan will require that all eligible consumers be reimbursed for all fees and/or charges incurred with the EDebit Pay debit card other than the initial application and processing fees and monthly maintenance fees during the six years preceding the effective date of the Order. It is also stated that MCB is responsible for contacting the consumers and issuing each a cashier’s check in the form of restitution. To view a copy of the Consent Order, click here.

MCB’s website states that the bank is the oldest locally owned and managed bank in Monterey County with over 32 years of service and five branches in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Rancho and Salinas. The bank’s stated specialties include: SBA lending, commercial loans, construction financing, merchant credit card services and personal attention to clients. For more information on Monterey County Bank, visit their website at www.montereycountybank.com.

According to their website, EDebitPay or EDP Technologies Corporation (EDP) is a leading performance-based online affiliate and direct marketing services provider to the mass consumer market. As a self proclaimed pioneer in the online financial services industry, EDP asserts to be the only company successfully combining these three characteristics: Addressing the large target market of under-banked, under-served consumers (45 million earning over $580 billion annually), providing products and services in high demand and leveraging the most effective distribution channel of online affiliate marketing networks. For more information on EDP, visit their website at www.edebitpay.com.

In early November 2010, the Kardashian sisters released the Kardashian Prepaid Kard to their masses of fans and admirers and have suffered a backlash of torment from financial critics and journalists across the country regarding excessive fees. To many, the associated fees may be outrageous, to others, not-so-much as the benefits they enjoy may outweigh the associated cost. For example, free direct deposit on a card with the picture of their favorite celebrity vs. standing in line waiting to cash a paycheck at an retail payday loan service outlet.

The bottom line? Consumers need to be diligent in their choices of financial products. Financial institutions and program managers need to exercise care in clearly disclosing terms and conditions of financial products.

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