Wells Fargo to pay $185M fine for opening bank accounts for customers without their knowledge
Wells Fargo was fined $185 million on Thursday for opening bank accounts and applying for credit cards on behalf of customers who were unaware they were being signed up.
The penalty includes a $100 million fine imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is the largest penalty ever imposed by the CFPB, according to a press release. The New York Times DealBook blog, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and CNN Money have stories.
The bank will also pay restitution to affected consumers; $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and $50 million to the city and county of Los Angeles. Wells Fargo has already fired about 5,300 employees in connection with the phony accounts.
Bank employees opened about 1.5 million new accounts and applied for about 565,000 credit cards that may not have been authorized by customers, according to the CFPB. Some customers were then subjected to charges such as overdraft and late fees.
Wells Fargo said it reached the agreement “consistent with our commitment to customers and in the interest of putting this matter behind us.”