Wells Fargo has been fined USD 250 million by a top US banking regulator. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has also placed new restrictions on the business of the bank after it failed to make any improvement in the oversight of its mortgage business. It was also founder that there were shortcomings in the bank’s effort to pay back its customers who were previously harmed. The OCC said that Wells Fargo failed to fulfill all the requirements that were agreed upon in the 2018 consent order. The bank was required to fix decades of internal lapses by paying back customers who were charged improperly or excessively.
Comptroller Michael Hsu said that the bank failed to fulfill all the requirements. “This is unacceptable. The bank had agreed to take several steps but it seems that Wells Fargo failed to work on it,” Hsu said in a statement. It must be noted that Wells Fargo had agreed to pay USD 1 billion fine in 2018. The bank agreed to this after it failed to make adjustments to customers’ interest rates on mortgages and automobile loans. The bank had forced millions of customers to buy unnecessary insurance products while taking auto loans.
The lapses cost customers of the bank millions of dollars. In some cases, their cars and homes. The earlier consent order also required the bank to create a program in order to identify customers that were wronged by the bank. Commenting on the development, Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf said that there’s a lot more that needs to be done. “There are multiple issues that the bank is trying to manage. Things are not easy for companies of our size. Therefore with progress, there will always be some setbacks. We are making significant progress but it may take some time to fix all the things,” Scharf said. The new penalty imposed on Wells Fargo is a fresh setback for the bank which started addressing customer abuses almost five years ago.