* Block, HSBC to Settle RAL Lawsuit: H&R Block and HSBC Taxpayer Financial Services Inc. reached a tentative agreement to settle a 1998 Chicago class-action lawsuit related to refund anticipation loans.

Block said that the settlement, if approved, would end all RAL-related class-action litigation against it. The 1998 suit alleges that Block received referral fees from the issuing bank and misled customers about finance charges on the controversial RALs, which provide access to fast cash by providing loans against a taxpayer's anticipated refund amount.

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