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What Wells Fargo’s woes could mean for near future of bank regulation

Joe Mont | April 24, 2018

For nearly two years, Wells Fargo has made headlines—for all the wrong reasons.

The latest prolonged moment of bad press came on April 20, when the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in a coordinated action with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, assessed Wells Fargo Bank with a civil penalty of $1 billion as a punitive action for overcharging customers in its mortgage and auto loan businesses.

Among the consumer abuses cited by regulators was convincing customers to pay for car insurance they didn’t need (leading to repossessions of said cars upon non-payment) and misleading borrowers on mortgage interest rates, even when they were already committed to an interest rate-lock.

The OCC assessed a $500 million civil penalty against Wells Fargo and ordered the bank to make restitution to customers harmed by its “unsafe or unsound practices.” Separately, the CFPB assessed a $1 billion penalty against the bank, but credited the OCC’s $500 million...

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