Wells Fargo pays $575 million to settle state investigations

Wells Fargo to pay states $575M for phony accounts, deception scandals

"This agreement is unique and one of the largest multistate settlements with a bank since the National Mortgage Settlement in 2012", says Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

Through this settlement with 50 states and the District of Columbia, Wells ‪Fargo‬ will also create a consumer redress review program through which consumers who have not been made whole through other remediation programs already in place can seek to have their inquiry or complaint reviewed by a bank escalation team for possible relief.

Friday's settlement marks the most recent in a long list of penalties related to Wells Fargo's sales scandal, which initially related to the bank opening millions of accounts in customers' names without their permission.

During the same time span, Wells Fargo's auto loan division allegedly placed approximately 850,000 auto loan customers under force-placed Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI), which charged them additional monthly premiums for auto insurance coverage if Wells Fargo - and the third party company that serviced its auto loans - could not verify the customer had purchased their own auto insurance policy for the vehicle.

The agreement, which applies to charges brought by states' attorneys general, follows other fines and settlements Wells Fargo (WFC) has paid out since September 2016. As a result, Wells Fargo has agreed to provide refunds totaling more than $37 million to certain auto finance customers.

Improperly charged residential mortgage loan consumers for rate lock extension fees even when the delay was caused by Wells Fargo, a practice contrary to the bank's policy. "This significant dollar amount, on top of actions by federal regulators, holds Wells Fargo accountable for its practices".

Wells Fargo is grappling with containing a wave of scandals over the a year ago.

In April, the bank agreed to pay $1 billion to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to settle investigations into its mortgage- and auto-lending practices. "This is an incredible breach of trust that threatens not only the customers who depended on Wells Fargo, but confidence in our banking system".

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