CFPB Investigating Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has been under scrutiny since 2016 when it was first revealed that the bank opened million of accounts through misleading tactics or without customers’ knowledge or consent. Wells Fargo has now disclosed in an SEC filing on Wednesday that it is under a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigation over its handling of consumer bank accounts.
CFPB is looking at the bank’s past disclosures to customers about how often they had to use a debit card to receive a fee waiver for certain deposit accounts, as Reuters reports. The watchdog is also looking into whether customers were “unduly harmed” by the company’s practices regarding consumer deposit accounts that were frozen or even closed after suspected fraudulent activity.
In 2018, Wells Fargo paid over $1 billion in a settlement over inappropriate fees and for forcing customers to purchase auto insurance that they did not need. In its latest filing, Wells Fargo reported that losses from all potential pending litigation related to its sales scandals as of March 31 could be as high as $2.6 billion, up from $2.4 billion at the end of last year. The company is still in litigation over the account opening scandal.
“As previously reported, we conducted a review of the fee waiver based on debit-card usage, and we are issuing refunds to customers who may have found previous disclosures unclear,” Jim Seitz, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, said in an emailed statement to Reuters. “It’s part of our broader ongoing efforts to make things right for our customers.”