Wells Fargo Could Face $1 Billion CFPB Fine

Mortgage News

Mortgage Daily Staff

                                                 April 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — Wells Fargo & Co. could be fined several hundred million dollars by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the bank’s mortgage-lending and auto-insurance abuses.

The agency is in talks with the San Francisco-based bank-holding company over penalties for the problems, Reuters reported Monday, citing two unidentified people with knowledge of the discussions.

CFPB acting Director Mick Mulvaney is pushing for fines as large as $1 billion, Reuters said.

A CFPB spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Mulvaney, the White House budget director, has been critical of how aggressively the agency was run under the Obama administration. But the large fines would align with President Donald Trump’s statement in December that Wells Fargo would face stiff penalties for charging fees to certain homebuyers to secure low mortgage rates. Trump said on Twitter that regulators would “make penalties severe” when companies are “caught cheating.”

In 2016, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 million to settle investigations by the CFPB, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer into the creation of millions of unauthorized accounts.

The $100 million CFPB portion of the settlement was a record for the agency, which began operations in 2011.

Reuters reported Monday that Mulvaney, who was installed as acting director by Trump in November, is looking for a penalty against Wells Fargo that would dwarf that earlier figure.

The bank did not admit any wrongdoing but said its employees had opened millions of checking, savings and credit card accounts that customers never authorized.

Wells Fargo also has been accused of forcing auto-loan customers into unneeded insurance policies and charging improper fees to some mortgage borrowers.

Mortgage Daily Staff

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