FTC Issues Report (and Warning Shot) on Big Data Use

by Shelton on January 24th, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

Building upon its 2012 Consumer Protection Report, its 2014 report on Data Brokers, and a public workshop held on September 15, 2014, the FTC issued a new report on January 6, 2016, with recommendations to businesses on the growing use of big data: Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues (2016 Big Data Report). Rather than focusing on prior themes of notice, choice, and security, the 2016 Big Data Report addresses only the commercial use of big data consisting of consumer information, and focuses on impacts of such big data uses on low-income and underserved populations.

Continuing the familiar theme of ambivalence about the potential in big data, the FTC acknowledges both benefits and risks from big data analytics:

Big data analytics can provide numerous opportunities for improvements in society. In addition to more effectively matching products and services to consumers, big data can create opportunities for low-income and underserved communities. For example, hellip; big data is helping target educational, credit, healthcare, and employment opportunities to low-income and underserved populations. At the same time, hellip;potential inaccuracies and biases might lead to detrimental effects for low-income and underserved populations. For example, hellip; companies could use big data to exclude low-income and underserved communities from credit and employment opportunities.

2016 FTC Big Data Report at i.

No single law comprehensively addresses big data analytics in the market. Lest businesses mistakenly believe that big data analytics operate without legal restraint, the Report is intended to alert businesses to the potential implications of existing law applicable to big data. The agency is clearly hoping to send the message that companies are responsible for anticipating and monitoring the impacts of their creative data analytics on consumers. And, that they may be held accountable even if the initial data inputs seemed benign to the data scientists and the adverse impacts were neither intended nor readily foreseeable in other words, the FTCs big data law enforcement will follow the disparate impact track of civil rights law.

Accordingly, companies should think ahead about the hypothetical range of consequences for their big data analytics, identify the legitimate business needs for those analytics, and tailor the analytics survive future regulatory scrutiny. In addition, companies may wish to consider establishment of internal data use guidelines and review boards. Companies may also want to start thinking about designing data use impact assessments and means to classify and digitally tag data to reflect any relevant regulatory or contractual provenance. Taking account of the FTCs concerns, and planning ahead for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, companies may also wish to consider possible policy disclosures about analytic and other compatible secondary uses of data collected from or about individuals.

The FTC seeks to guide development of big data initiatives through incorporating fairness and privacy principles in the design of big data applications to minimize the risk of violating existing laws. In particular, one prominent section of the report reminds those in the big data market that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) could apply to the compilation and sale of data on consumers, specifically when used for credit, employment, insurance, housing, or other eligibility determinations. Although the FCRA has primary applicability to consumer reporting agencies, consumer reports, and entities that contribute to or otherwise use consumer reports, it can often be implicated in big data initiatives. Key for such analysis will be a fact intensive review of whether a particular big data initiative or product is intended to or could reasonably be anticipated to be used for an FCRA-specified purpose.

The FTC report asserts that FCRA requirements could be triggered any time a company makes a credit decision based on a consumer report, regardless of how the company obtains the report. For example, if a company uses information about a consumer, such as his or her zip code combined with shopping behavior and other characteristics, to make creditworthiness decisions about consumers that share some of those characteristics, the Report noted the FTC would probably view such analysis as a consumer report, triggering FCRA requirements. But FCRA would not be triggered by a similar report used only to inform general policies and not make decisions about consumers. As the FTC emphasized, [o]nly a fact-specific analysis will ultimately determine whether a practice is subject to or violates the FCRA, and as such, companies should be mindful of the law when using big data analytics to make FCRA-covered eligibility determinations. Id. at ii.

The report emphasizes that problems with data quality, accuracy, and representativeness, as well as imperceptible biases, can lead to mistaken inferences that could hurt consumers. To counteract such unintended harms, the Report focuses on considerations to mitigate negative impacts of big data uses on low-income and underserved populations.

The FTC also reminds companies to consider civil rights laws, such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in applying big data principles, although the report is rather vague about their specific application. Under those laws, companies should ensure their use of big data does not create disparate treatment. For example, companies should not disadvantage certain protected groups based on big data analytics that suggest such groups are less likely to repay loans. Companies should also be careful to avoid creating a disparate impact through a neutral practice that results in unfair treatment of a protected group unless the practice furthers a legitimate business need and cannot be achieved another way. In one example highlighted by the FTC, data analytics that screen applicants based on zip code could have a disparate impact on a protected group if there is a large percentage of that group living in a screened zip code. Accordingly, the FTC is warning companies to be careful when making inferences based on zip code, even if such practices would be allowed under FCRA. Id. at 17 n.86. Interestingly, the FTC also specifically warned that even advertising practices could violate the Equal Opportunity Laws by creating a disparate impact or treatment based on a protected category.

As in prior FTC statements, the 2016 Big Data Report primarily rests FTC authority over big data issues on section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.Here, the FTC is focused particularly on unfair (eg, discriminatory use) and deceptive uses of big data analytics. Deceptive statements are those likely to mislead users, and include violations of promises not to share data or to keep consumers personal information safe. Deception can also arise from failure to disclose important information. For example, the Report cited the CompuCredit case, in which the company failed to tell consumers their credit lines would be reduced if they used their cards for cash advances or other transactions like bars, massage parlors, and marriage counseling. Id. at 22.

If the FTC were to allege that any given big data use was discriminatory and thus unfair under Section 5 of the FTC Act, the statute would require it to prove the injury to consumers was disproportionate to any countervailing benefits, and not reasonably avoidable. To the extent the agency claims that alleged discriminatory advertising or offers, or differential pricing, were unfair, the harm in question would have to be substantial and satisfy the statutory cost-benefit test. As examples of possible unfair big data practices, the Report cites the failure to secure data in a manner commensurate with its sensitivity, or providing data or data analytics to third parties who are likely to use it for fraudulent purposes.

The 2016 FTC Big Data Report includes several recommendations for protecting consumer information and evaluating a big data initiative. It also includes some explicit prohibitions. In particular, the FTC stresses that, for purposes of potential Section 5 enforcement, at a minimum, companies must not sell their big data analytics products to customers if they know or have reason to know that those customers will use the products for fraudulent or discriminatory purposes. The inquiry will be fact-specific, and in every case, the test will be whether the company is offering or using big data analytics in a deceptive or unfair way. Id. at iv.

The agency offered a number of noteworthy examples of potentially problematic analytic projects. For example, the FTC explained that employers using big data analysis to synthesize employee information and make employment decisions could risk incorporating old discrimination into new employment decisions. Id. at 28. In another, even more aggressive, example, the FTC explained that companies hiring practices that incorporate algorithms that benefit alumni of top tier colleges may be incorporating old biases from the college admissions process. Id. at 29. Alleging prejudicial bias based on remote and fairly standard factors like academic pedigree would seem quite strained, however. It may be that the FTC is intending to send a signal that no consequential use of data analytics will be free from regulatory scrutiny.

The FTC recommends that companies consider four critical topics in the development of any big data analytics process: representation in data sets, bias, accuracy, and fairness. Specifically, the FTC stated that:

[C]ompanies already using or considering big data analytics should:

  • Consider whether your data sets are missing information from particular populations and, if they are, take appropriate steps to address this problem.
  • Review your data sets and algorithms to ensure that hidden biases are not having an unintended impact on certain populations.
  • Remember that just because big data found a correlation, it does not necessarily mean that the correlation is meaningful. As such, you should balance the risks of using those results, especially where your policies could negatively affect certain populations. It may be worthwhile to have human oversight of data and algorithms when big data tools are used to make important decisions, such as those implicating health, credit, and employment.
  • Consider whether fairness and ethical considerations advise against using big data in certain circumstances. Consider further whether you can use big data in ways that advance opportunities for previously underrepresented populations.

2016 FTC Big Data Report at 32.

The FTC concludes its Report noting: Big data will continue to grow in importance, and it is undoubtedly improving the lives of underserved communities in areas such as education, health, local and state services, and employment. Our collective challenge is to make sure that big data analytics continue to provide benefits and opportunities to consumers while adhering to core consumer protection values and principles. For its part, the Commission will continue to monitor areas where big data practices could violate existing laws, including the FTC Act, the FCRA, and ECOA, and will bring enforcement actions where appropriate.

In light of this clear message, it would be prudent for companies to include legal compliance considerations and regulatory risk analysis in the development of their big data programs.

Herring Announces Settlement with Online Lender

by Shelton on January 24th, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

RICHMOND, VA (NEWSPLEX) — Attorney General Mark Herring announced Friday a settlement with a Delaware-based online consumer lender for alleged violations of Virginias consumer finance statutes and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

In the settlement, MoneyKey, Inc. will provide more than $4 million in forgiven interest and fees to 5,000 Virginians who defaulted on, or are currently paying off, cash advances and another $18,000 in restitution to more than 170 consumers who fully repaid their cash advances.

Consumers need to know their rights and all the possible risks before utilizing payday, car title, or open-ended consumer loans, said Herring. Lenders who want to do business in Virginia have an obligation to operate within the law and we will always fight to hold them accountable when they fail to follow our laws and harm consumers.

According to the settlement, MoneyKey alleged violated consumer finance statures by imposing illegal charges on borrowers who got open-ended credit loans.

It also states Money Key violated the VCPA by misrepresenting its licensure status in Virginia and by misrepresenting that its loans were compliant with the Commonwealths open-end credit statute.

The settlement includes permanent injunctions to keep MoneyKey from violating the VCPA and from violating consumer protection statutes in the future by charging or receiving excess interest, unless allowed by the statute.

The company is also going to reimburse the Commonwealth $30,000 for legal fees and costs.

Consumers with questions about the settlement should call the Attorney Generals Office at 866-255-1668.

42 Percent of Millennials Are Engaging in This Risky Financial Behavior

by Shelton on January 22nd, 2016

filed under Cash Advances


By Krystal Steinmetz

They might be better educated and more technologically savvy than previous generations, but that doesnt mean millennials are making smart financial decisions.

Millennials are heavy users of the alternative financial system which includes payday loans, pawnshops and tax refund advances and reluctant to seek professional financial help.

Thats according to a recent report from tax and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the George Washington Universitys Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. The report is based on survey results of more than 5,500 millennials (ages 23 to 35).

Cash-strapped, saddled with student loan debt and struggling to navigate a changing job market, millennials are risk-averse and wary of the stock market. Thats really no surprise, considering they came of age during the Great Recession.

From our Solutions Center: Help with student loan debt

Millennials owe a lot. They know too little, said Annamaria Lusardi, academic director at the George Washington University center.

When compared with other Americans, the millennial generation those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s has the lowest level of financial literacy, the report said. Unfortunately, despite a lack of financial know-how, a mere 27 percent of millennials seek help from a financial professional.

A lack of financial literacy may explain why 42 percent of millennials took out a payday loan or auto title loan, used a pawnshop, got a tax refund advance or purchased a rent-to-own product in the past five years.

Theres an appetite for faster money quicker without thinking of the longer-term ramifications, Shannon Schuyler, head of corporate responsibility and chief purpose officer at PwC, told Moneywatch. They dont want to ask for help, they are embarrassed, they feel they are in this by themselves, and they are using interesting ways, like taking cash advances on their credit cards to try to deal with their plight, she added.

(Before you seek out a payday loan to deal with short-term debt, check out More Proof That Payday Loans Suck and Payday Loans Might Be Even Worse Than You Thought.)

These are some highlights from the report:

  • Lack financial know-how: Only 24 percent of millennials demonstrate basic financial knowledge and just 8 percent show high financial literacy.
  • Discontent over financial situation: Thirty-four percent of millennials report being very unsatisfied with their current financial situation.
  • Fret over student loans: More than half of millennials (54 percent) said theyre worried about their ability to pay back their student loans.
  • Financially fragile: Nearly 1 in 3 millennials (30 percent) are overdrawing their checking accounts. (Read more about millennials financial habits at Millennials Have No Savings; Heres Why)
  • Retirement account woes: Just 36 percent of millennials have a retirement account. Of those, 17 percent took a loan and 14 percent took a hardship withdrawal from those accounts in the past year. This trend is especially worrying because it can compromise millennials future financial security, the report said.

If you are a millennial or you know a millennial who needs to brush up on his or her money skills, check out Report: Clueless Generation Urgently Needs These 5 Money Lessons.

Square Post-IPO Volatility Normal, Analyst Says

by Shelton on January 22nd, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

Square has three main business lines: its core business as a payments or point-of-sale system — a digital cash register that operates on mobile devices — as well as data and analysis based on the transaction data the firm collects from each sale. Square also offers financial services such as payroll and short-term cash advances. And the firm also recently purchased food-delivery app Caviar, which it helps its restaurant clients scale.

The San Francisco-based company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange at 9, but investors quickly drove the stock to touch 14.78 on its first trading day Nov. 19, a 64.2% gain.

The companys Q4 2015 earnings, which Square is set to report next month, will demonstrate to investors that the firm is evolving from a straight payments play into a commerce company that offers small businesses a chance to gain insights from the massive amount of data the company collects during the payments process.

Palmer is bullish on Square. On Dec. 2, he initiated coverage with a buy rating and 15 price target. Though he sees the sector as fiercely competitive — PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are all interested in payments — Squares early entry into the market has given it an advantage. There is also plenty of room to grow, and Palmer cited the fact that the company has only reached 15% of its potential customers in the US

In his research note from Monday, Palmer wrote that he believes that the consolidation in the sector is going to continue, increasing in 2016, with firms such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) possibly entering the market as well.

Square and its relatively small size make it a legitimate acquisition candidate, and such an acquisition at a premium to its current price is a real possibility.

Jefferies analyst Jason Kupferberg wrote in a research note on Dec. 14 that Square was a real unicorn, referring to Silicon Valley jargon for private companies that investors have valued at over $1 billion.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Daniel Perlin believes that Squares total addressable market in the US is about $200 billion.

Study: Credit Card Issuers Continue to Focus on Consumers with Existing Debt

by Shelton on January 22nd, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

CardHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape report for 2015, released Monday, shows interest rates and cash advance fees continue to increase and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increase will cost consumers about $1.3 billion in additional credit card debt payments through this year.

“The average regular [annual percentage rate] for new credit card offers increased by 22 basis points during the fourth quarter, which essentially mirrors the 25-point hike the Federal Reserve announced for its target rate in mid-December,” according to the report by CardHub Research Analyst Alina Comoreanu.

CardHub also found that credit card issuers continue to reach out more to consumers with existing debt than those intent on incurring new debt, according to the report.

“After two years of 0 percent balance transfer offers gradually becoming more generous while 0 percent offers for new purchases worsened slightly, introductory financing terms appeared to have stabilized at the end of 2015,” Comoreanu writes. “Interest-free introductory terms are now 16 percent longer for balance transfers than new purchases, reinforcing CardHub’s hypotheses that issuers are more intent on attracting the balances of consumers already mired in debt than incentivizing people to incur new debt in a recovering, yet uncertain economy.”

Fees for cash advances used by consumers with credit cards have increased by about 64 percent since the end of 2012, according to the report. The average cash advance fee is 4.02 percent or $14.51, whichever is greater.

However, consumers’ complaints about fees and credit declined from 41.53 percent in the third quarter to 37.15 percent in the fourth quarter. “The decline in fee-related complaints is especially interesting because while annual fees and foreign transaction fees fell during the fourth quarter, balance transfer fees and cash advance fees actually increased,” according to the report.

Debt accumulation decreased by about 33 percent to $21.3 billion in the third quarter compared to $32.08 billion in the second quarter in 2015, according to the report. However, the delinquency rate increased by about 8 percent between the two quarters. The unemployment rate decreased by about 4 percent and has been since the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the report.

CardHub created the report with data from more than 1,000 credit card offers monitored on a daily basis. The report contains data from the third and fourth quarters of 2015. The full report is available here.

Follow ACA on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector or Facebook for news and event updates. ACA’s LinkedIn Group includes news updates, member discussions, event promotions, jobs and more. Visit the group page and request to join today.

BlackRock Takes At Least A 5 Percent Stake In Square

by Shelton on January 21st, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

BlackRocks investment is a positive sign for Square by showing that the money management giant sees long-term value and growth in the company. A number of Wall Street analysts recently gave the companys shares a “buy,” “overweight,” or “outperform” rating.

Jefferies and Goldman Sachs, which were both underwriters of the company’s IPO, said they were both bullish about company’s strategy of selling business-services alongside its payments software and credit card reader. In addition to collecting revenue from credit card payments, Square has focused on selling additional features to merchants like invoicing, payroll, cash advances, appointment scheduling, marketing features, and slicing and dicing business data.

But some investors may remain concerned that the companys losses are growing slightly and revenue growth is slowing. In its original public IPO filing, Square reported a $77.6 million loss for the first six months of this year compared to a $79 million loss during the same period in 2014. Meanwhile, revenues rose to $560.5 million from $372 million during the same six months.

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In a more recent third quarter filing, Square posted a loss of $53.9 million on $332.2 million in revenue, indicating slower revenue growth than before and widening losses.

All eyes will be on Square in the next month if and when the newly public company reports earnings.

Degrees don’t make millennials financially literate

by Shelton on January 18th, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

Millennials are better educated than previous generations, but that knowledge isnt keeping them from engaging in risky financial behavior. For instance, Americans born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s are heavy users of alternative financial services such as payday loan stores and pawn shops, according to research published Thursday.

Theres an appetite for faster money quicker without thinking of the longer-term ramifications, said Shannon Schuyler, head of corporate responsibility and chief purpose officer at PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC. They dont want to ask for help, they are embarrassed, they feel they are in this by themselves, and they are using interesting ways, like taking cash advances on their credit cards to try to deal with their plight, she added.

The research coincides with prior studies that found the millennial generation — the estimated 75.3 million Americans born between 1981 and 1997 and now the countrys largest demographic group — arent feeling particularly bright about the future.

In the past five years, 42 percent of millennials used an alternative financial service, such as payday loans, pawnshops, auto title loans, tax refund advances and rent-to-own products, according to the study conducted by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University and supported by PwC.

Broken out, among those using alternative services 50 percent had a high school degree or less and 28 percent had a college degree. But millennials are in too much debt regardless of their education, with two-thirds overall and 81 percent of the college-educated carrying at least one outstanding long-term debt.

Nearly 30 percent of millennials are overdrawing on their checking accounts, and more than 20 percent with retirement accounts took loans or hardship withdrawals in the past year.

Millennials are the age group with the lowest level of financial literacy among the overall population: Only 24 percent demonstrate basic financial knowledge, and just 8 percent show high financial literacy.

A majority, or 54 percent, of millennials are concerned about their ability to repay their student loan debt, and 34 percent with annual household incomes above $75,000 worry they may not be able to repay their student loans.

Schuyler advises millennials in financial trouble to ask for help, including from parents, and to ask questions about financial products, including the fees involved with using them.

If you start off on a bad foot, you can easily recover. But the question is, how far down the road do you kick the can? said Schuyler, who added that poor decisions could curtail future options such as purchasing a home.

Is JPMorgan Chase OnDeck Partnership Leading Us Down Another Subprime Hole?

by Shelton on January 18th, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

George Souri

This article was written by George Souri who is the founder and CEO of both LQD Business Finance and The Atria Group with over 15 years of entrepreneurial and private equity experience, with a focus on finance, Mamp;A, fast growth, exit positioning, and complex situations.

As banks like JPMorgan Chase begin tapping into the subprime small business lending market, we might be seeing a repeat of the aggressive risk taking that caused the 2008 economic crash. While the seemingly innovative partnerships between big banks and certain alternative small business lenders are being reported as beneficial to the prosperity of small businesses, the whole story is not being told.

To start, not all alternative lenders are the same. Some companies, like OnDeck and Can Capital, focus primarily on subprime credit and predominantly offer merchant cash advances, which are short term loans with very high rates (oftentimes greater than 50% APR). In contrast, companies like LQD Business Finance, Lending Club, and Funding Circle offer traditional loans to businesses with higher credit worthiness, and at lower rates and longer terms.

Is history repeating itself?

Based on the events leading up to 2008 and the mortgage crisis, it should be obvious by now that nothing good can come from big banks being involved in the subprime market – which is why JPMorgan Chase’s recent partnership with OnDeck is so concerning. As was the case in the mortgage crisis, the demand for new loan growth created by such partnerships creates the potential for an environment that is more focused on quick and high commissions rather than making sound business loans. As a result, the loan process is becoming increasingly accelerated, and managed in a framework of questionable criteria.

Although many MCA companies claim to have algorithmic underwriting technology, most MCA loans are offered based on barely more than a few months of the business’s bank and credit card statements. This process means that credit decisions are being made without a full evaluation of the borrowing business, and as a result, MCA companies have experienced default rates that are higher than those seen in the mortgage crisis.

Comparable to the mortgage crisis, unsophisticated borrowers are being driven by fast talking loan brokers and loose underwriting criteria – ultimately taking on more debt than they can afford to ever pay back. Consequently, these businesses get into a cycle of having to take on one advance to pay off another – a tactic called “stacking” in the industry.

 “It’s getting progressively worse. We’re seeing businesses coming to us for a traditional loan to consolidate 5 or 6 merchant cash advances a broker talked them into. Often times the debt the business is carrying exceeds the business’s revenues” says George Souri, CEO of LQD Business Finance. 

The access to quick cash is leading businesses to take on debt that they will not be able to pay back. As these loans are aggregated and sold off to big banks, this leads for the potential of a repeat of 2008.

So, how can a repeat of 2008 be avoided?

First off, a business must take a sober account of the amount of debt that they can realistically pay back and avoid the allure of quick cash. Secondly, greater transparency is needed in the merchant cash advance space, particularly as it relates to the practices of unregulated brokers and the terms offered by unregulated merchant cash advance companies. Finally, businesses should avoid short-term, high-rate products like merchant cash advances, and instead look for traditional loans offering better terms from companies like LQD Business Finance and Lending Club.

UPDATE 2-Allied Irish, Citigroup settle litigation over rogue trader

by Shelton on January 15th, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

(Adds Citigroup, Allied Irish comments)

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK Jan 14 Citigroup Inc has settled
long-running litigation in which Allied Irish Banks Plc
accused it of helping rogue currency trader John Rusnak rack up
a $691 million loss.

US District Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan on Thursday
ordered the dismissal of the 12-1/2-year-old case, in which
government-controlled AIB sought $500 million of compensatory
damages plus punitive damages.

Settlement terms were not disclosed. The accord averted a
trial scheduled to begin on Jan. 25, over a fraud that was at
the time among the largest to involve unauthorized trades.

Citigroup also resolved related claims against Buffalo, New
Yorks MT Bank Corp, which in 2003 bought a majority of
AIBs Allfirst Bank in Baltimore, where Rusnak worked.

Rusnak hid trading losses for at least five years before
they were revealed in February 2002.

AIB accused Citigroups Citibank unit, which was Allfirsts
prime broker, of furthering the fraud by enabling Rusnaks sham
transactions, including disguised cash advances and fake trades.

It said this let Rusnak trade more than Allfirst allowed,
while pretending his currency bets were legitimate.

Citigroup countered that the evidence did not come close to
suggesting it contributed to Rusnaks losses.

But in a June 30 decision allowing the case to continue,
Batts found credible evidence the New York-based bank misled
AIB, perhaps hoping to keep Rusnak happy and collect more fees.

A Citigroup spokeswoman and a lawyer for AIB said the banks
are pleased to have settled. An MT spokesman had no immediate

Rusnak eventually pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud,
and spent nearly six years in prison.

AIB also sued Bank of America Corp over its dealings
with Rusnak, but dropped the lawsuit in January 2012.

The case is Allied Irish Banks Plc v Citibank NA, US
District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 03-03748.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chris

Navy Federal Eliminates Foreign Transaction Fees on all Credit Cards

by Shelton on January 15th, 2016

filed under Cash Advances

VIENNA, Va., Jan.12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –Navy Federal Credit Union has eliminated all foreign transaction fees1 on its credit cards for new and existing cardholders. Implemented January 4th, the credit union will no longer charge a fee for using a credit card for foreign currency transactions.

We always want to be doing the right things for our members, especially our Active Duty military, said Randy Hopper, vice president of credit cards at Navy Federal. By eliminating foreign transaction fees, were making it better for our members to use their credit cards, particularly while traveling or if theyre based overseas.

There are no fees for credit card balance transfers or cash advances1, and the credit union sets no limit on rewards earned for eligible purchases.2 All cards have no annual fee, with the exception of the Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Card, which offers added benefits like travel and emergency assistance for an annual fee of $49.

About Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union is the worlds largest credit union with more than $71 billion in assets, 5.9 million members, 277 branches, and a workforce of over 13,000 employees worldwide. The credit union serves all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian, and contractor personnel and their families. For additional information about Navy Federal, visit www.navyfederal.org.

1Currently, rates range from 7.99% APR to 18% APR, are based on creditworthiness, and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. On 2/1/2016, rates will increase to 8.24% APR to 18% APR as the result of a 12/16/15 increase in the Prime Rate. ATM cash advance fees: None if performed at a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Otherwise, $0.50 per domestic transaction or $1.00 per overseas transaction. $49 annual fee for Visa Signature Flagship Rewards. Earn rewards on eligible net purchases. 2Net purchases means the sum of your eligible purchase transactions minus returns and refunds. Eligible purchase transactions do not include, and rewards are not earned for, Navy Federal cash equivalent transactions, such as the purchases, loading or re-loading of Navy Federal prepaid and gift cards (eg, Navy Federal gift cards, Visa Buxx Cards, GO Prepaid Cards).

Contact: Emily Bigham
Corporate Communications
Email: emily_bigham@navyfederal.org
Phone: (703) 206-3061

Logo- http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080117/DC11807LOGO-b

SOURCE Navy Federal Credit Union