A lawsuit has been filed against Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (PEBK) alleging that the Newton company failed to operate its overdraft program in line with its customer account agreement.

The complaint alleges that the $1.1 billion-asset company failed to process customer transactions properly and that it violated the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act in its assessment and collection of overdraft fees, the bank said Friday after the market closed.

Peoples Bancorp said in a news release that it found the claims to be without merit and that it intends to "vigorously defend the lawsuit, including the request that the lawsuit be certified as a class action."

The lawsuit, filed on June 7 in North Carolina Superior Court, seeks the refund of overdraft fees, attorneys’ fees and injunctive relief. 

Dozens of banks have been sued over their overdraft protection programs, with plaintiffs alleging that the banks wrongfully reordered transactions in an effort to maximize fees. So far more than a dozen have settled or are seeking court approval of settlement proposals.

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