Wells Fargo on Friday reached a US$575 million ($857.4m) settlement with all 50 states and the District of Columbia to resolve allegations it had engaged in various abuses of its customers, including opening millions of sham accounts they did not want.
The settlement requires the banking giant to create a redress program for consumers not covered by a previously announced restitution program.
After reaching settlements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Los Angeles city attorney and the NY attorney general, Wells Fargo still faces probes by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor, according to its most recent securities filing. In addition, Wells Fargo improperly submitted more than 6,500 renters insurance and/or simplified term life insurance policy applications and payments from customer accounts without the customers' knowledge or consent.
More information on the restitution review program, including Wells Fargo escalation phone numbers and the Wells Fargo dedicated website address for the program, will be available on or before February 26, 2019.
Prosecutors say Wells Fargo, and the third-party company who managed the auto loans, did not properly verify whether customers already had auto insurance, and did not process CPI cancellations in a timely manner, resulting in more than 51,000 vehicles being repossessed between 2005 and 2016.
Failing to ensure that customers received refunds of unearned premiums on certain optional auto finance products. "This significant dollar amount, on top of actions by federal regulators, holds Wells Fargo accountable for its practices".
You can read a copy of Friday's entire settlement at the link titled "Wells Fargo Settlement Agreement - Dec. 28.2018" in the "Related Links" section of this story.
More than $35 million of Arizona's cut will go into state accounts established to strengthen consumer protection efforts, with $2 million going to cover attorneys' fees and investigation costs. "This is an incredible breach of trust that threatens not only the customers who depended on Wells Fargo, but confidence in our banking system".
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