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Wells Fargo agrees to $575M settlement over fake customer accounts

By Danielle Haynes
Wells Fargo agrees to $575M settlement over fake customer accounts
In addition to the fine, Wells Fargo agreed to set up and maintain a website offering information on remediation efforts. File Photo by Ken Wolter/Shutterstock.com

Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Wells Fargo agreed to pay $575 million to settle civil charges in all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the creation of fake customer accounts, the bank announced Friday.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Wells Fargo must establish a team to review and respond to customer inquiries about restitution programs, and create a website detailing the bank's remediation efforts.

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The agreements came two years after Wells Fargo admitted its employees opened 2 million potentially unauthorized checking and credit card accounts between 2011 and 2015. A lawsuit filed in 2015 accused the company of encouraging bankers to engage in illegal sales tactics in order to meet "unreachable goals."

The bank opened customer accounts and added unwanted secondary accounts, both of which generate fees, without permission.

"Wells Fargo hit a new low when it completely deceived its customers to turn a profit," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement. "Today's settlement ensures Wells Fargo can no longer breach consumers' trust and get away with it."

The company already has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and fines, and fired scores of employees as part of the scandal.

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"This agreement underscores our serious commitment to making things right in regard to past issues as we work to build a better bank," CEO and President Tim Sloan said.

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