December 8, 2011
OCC Assesses Civil Money Penalty Against Wells Fargo, Requires Restitution to Municipalities Harmed by Bid-Rigging on Financial Products
WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced today that it has assessed a civil money penalty of $20 million against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("bank"), and required it to pay more than $14.5 million in restitution for the involvement of the bank’s predecessor institutions, Wachovia Bank N.A. and First Union National Bank ("predecessor banks"), in a bid rigging scheme involving the marketing and sale of certain derivative financial products to various municipalities and Section 501(c)(3) organizations harmed by the predecessor banks' misconduct during the period 1997 – 2006. The restitution amount includes improper gains and prejudgment interest calculated thereon from 42 rigged transactions.
The OCC also executed a formal agreement with the bank that requires it to implement a detailed plan to enhance and strengthen its policies, procedures, and internal controls related to competitively bid transactions conducted within the bank's Municipal Derivatives Marketing and Trading groups, and to take steps to ensure that adequate policies, procedures, and controls are in place related to transactions involving competitive bidding bank-wide. The OCC's formal enforcement action against the bank is part of a global resolution of actions coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve Board, and approximately twenty-six State Attorneys General.