The $40.9 million settlement is to reimburse banks that issue Visa cards for the re-issue of credit and debit cards after 94 million account details were exposed to identity fraudsters by the retail firm.

TJX revealed in January 2007 that its computer system for storing and processing information had been successfully hacked into by fraudsters, exposing millions of credit card, debit card and driver's licence details.

The files, stolen from TJX's systems in the UK and the US, are thought to have led to fraudulent purchases in Florida, Georgia and Louisiana in the US, as well as in Hong Kong and Sweden. None of the hackers has been caught, although last September the leader of a criminal group using the TJX data was sentenced to five years in prison and a $600,000 fine.

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