News Release 2016-106 | September 8, 2016
OCC Assesses Penalty Against Wells Fargo, Orders Restitution for Unsafe or Unsound Sales Practices
WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today assessed a $35 million civil money penalty against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and ordered the bank to make restitution to customers who were harmed by the bank’s unsafe or unsound sales practices.
The sales practices the OCC found to be unsafe or unsound included the unauthorized opening of deposit or credit card accounts and the transfer of funds from authorized, existing accounts to unauthorized accounts. The $35 million civil money penalty reflects a number of factors, including the bank’s failure to develop and implement an effective enterprise risk management program to detect and prevent the unsafe or unsound sales practices, and the scope and duration of the practices. The penalty will be paid to the U.S. Treasury.
Customers eligible for restitution include those who were financially harmed as a result of the unsafe or unsound sales practices. The OCC order also requires the bank to take corrective action to establish an enterprise-wide sales practices risk management and oversight program to detect and prevent unsafe or unsound sales practices.
The OCC is taking this action in coordination with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Los Angeles City Attorney. Restitution payments made by the bank to customers pursuant to the OCC’s order will also satisfy identical obligations required by the CFPB and the Los Angeles City Attorney.