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Wells Fargo fined $250M for 'unacceptable' response to 2018 settlement

By
Zarrin Ahmed
Regulators say there were significant deficiencies in the way the bank responded to a 2018 settlement that required it to pay back customers who were charged excessive and improper fees. File Photo by David Yee/UPI
Regulators say there were significant deficiencies in the way the bank responded to a 2018 settlement that required it to pay back customers who were charged excessive and improper fees. File Photo by David Yee/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Wells Fargo Bank has been fined $250 million by U.S. regulators for not holding up its end of an agreement three years ago to pay back customers for excessive and inappropriate fees.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Thursday there were significant deficiencies in the way the bank responded to the 2018 settlement. Its penalty requires Wells Fargo to take corrective actions.

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"Wells Fargo has not met the requirements of the OCC's 2018 action against the bank. This is unacceptable," OCC Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu said in a statement.

"In addition to the $250 million civil money penalty that we are assessing against Wells Fargo, today's action puts limits on the bank's future activities until existing problems in mortgage servicing are adequately addressed."

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The OCC penalty will also restrict Wells Fargo's future activities until the issues are settled.

Wells Fargo agreed to the settlement after regulators found that the bank had charged excessive or improper fees for vehicle insurance and mortgage loans.

Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said the bank is committed to addressing the problems.

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"Building an appropriate risk and control infrastructure has been and remains Wells Fargo's top priority," he said in a statement.

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He said the bank is "managing multiple issues," including a 2016 consent order from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"The work required is clear, and I remain confident in our ability to complete it," Scharf added. "The expiration of the CFPB's 2016 consent order is representative of progress we are making."

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In 2017, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $142 million to settle a class-action suit that said bank employees opened about 2 million unauthorized checking and credit card accounts over a four-year period.

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