Wells Fargo disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday it has entered resolution discussions with a U.S. authority or authorities regarding potential sanctions violations it voluntarily self-disclosed to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The update was included in the bank’s first-quarter report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wells Fargo first reported disclosure of the potential violations to OFAC in its second-quarter report for 2017 and that it was cooperating with a related inquiry from the Department of Justice.
“The company … has been cooperating with investigations or inquiries arising out of this matter by federal government agencies,” Wells Fargo stated in Tuesday’s filing. “The company is in resolution discussions with certain of these agencies, although there can be no assurance as to the outcome of these discussions.”
The bank did not specify which regulator it is engaging with regarding a potential resolution. OFAC and the Justice Department did not immediately return requests for comment.
The issue self-identified related to a Wells Fargo software-based solution used by foreign banks to conduct import/export trade-related financing transactions with countries and entities designated by OFAC.
“We do not believe any funds related to these transactions flowed through accounts at Wells Fargo as a result of the aforementioned conduct,” the bank has stated since first disclosing the matter in 2017.
Wells Fargo offered no further information.
Coordinated resolutions between OFAC and other agencies, including the Justice Department, are not uncommon. In April 2021, German software company SAP SE agreed to pay more than $8 million in combined penalties issued by the Justice Department, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and OFAC after admitting to committing violations of sanctions against Iran that occurred when Iranian-based users paid to download SAP software, upgrades, and patches.