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CFPB Fines Wells Fargo for Consumer Loan and Fee Issues

CFPB logo with magnifying glassThe consent order includes a $3.7 billion fine. The bank says it has already remedied some of the issues in the settlement.

12/20/2022 3:00 P.M.

1.5 minute read

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday released a consent order (PDF) outlining several reported violations on borrower accounts and mortgage modifications by Wells Fargo and fined the bank $3.7 billion.

“Consumers were illegally assessed fees and interest charges on auto and mortgage loans, had their cars wrongly repossessed, and had payments to auto and mortgage loans misapplied by the bank,” according to a news release from the CFPB. “Wells Fargo also charged consumers unlawful surprise overdraft fees and applied other incorrect charges to checking and savings accounts.”

The bureau reports the fine includes more than $2 billion in redress to consumers and a $1.7 billion civil penalty. It notes the bank’s actions impacted over 16 million consumer accounts.

The CFPB’s specific findings include that Wells Fargo:

“Unlawfully repossessed vehicles and bungled borrower accounts, improperly denied mortgage modifications, illegally charged surprise overdraft fees and unlawfully froze consumer accounts and mispresented fee waivers,” according to the news release.

The consent order shows Wells Fargo violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition on unfair and deceptive acts or practices.

Charlie Scharf, Wells Fargo’s CEO, said in a news release that the “far-reaching agreement is an important milestone in our work to transform the operating practices at Wells Fargo and to put these issues behind us. We and our regulators have identified a series of unacceptable practices that we have been working systematically to change and provide customer remediation where warranted.”

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