Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

September 22, 2000 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

States Charged U.S. Bank Misrepresented Privacy Policy in Selling Customer Info.

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. today announced that Maryland, 37 other states and the District of Columbia entered into a settlement with U.S. Bancorp to resolve allegations that the bank improperly shared its customersí personal information with third-party marketers.

"It is wrong for a business to sell a consumerís personal information against the consumerís wishes," Curran said. "Information that a bank or credit card company knows about a consumer should not end up in the hands of telemarketers," he added.

Under the settlement, which was approved by the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, the bank and credit card issuer agreed not to share customer information with unaffiliated third-parties for marketing non-financial products and to allow consumers to "opt-out" of the sharing of information with affiliates or with third-party marketers of financial products.

U.S. Bancorp will pay restitution to any consumer who, since June 1, 1997 paid money to a third-party marketer based upon the bankís sharing of information about the consumer and did not use the program or service paid for. The bank will send notice to eligible consumers about the process for obtaining a refund.

An earlier settlement of a suit filed last year by the Minnesota Attorney Generalís office against U.S. Bancorp alleging that the bank misrepresented or failed to disclose its information sharing practices formed the basis for todayís settlement.

In addition to Maryland, the other states involved in the settlement are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and Washington, D.C.