Wells Fargo $100 Million Fine Reminds Us To Check Statements

Does Wells Fargo owe you money?

Bad practices of a banking giant remind us all to check our banking statements regularly for fishy items that we didn’t authorize. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Wells Fargo $100 million for secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.

Turns out that Wells Fargo employees, eager to make sales targets and earn bonuses, opened about 1.5 million additional accounts, without approval, for people who already banked with them and didn’t ask for the services. While the employees got their payday, consumers ended up with unauthorized charges on their accounts.  

The employees creatively and dishonestly created false email accounts for consumers so that the new accounts would get approved without a hitch.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray said, “Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed.”

Wells Fargo took full-page newspaper ads to apologize to consumers and said, “We truly regret and take full responsibility for any such instances and have refunded those consumers who incurred fees.”

The bank detailed a list of employee training improvements and customer notification systems that it put into place to try to prevent fraud in the future.

The $100 million dollar fine goes into the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund, which pays victims restitution for financial frauds. But Wells Fargo will also refund, or has already, at least $2.5 million to consumers who found their accounts manipulated. In addition it will pay $35 million to the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency and $50 million to the county and city of Los Angeles, which sued the bank along with CFPB.


Does Wells Fargo owe you money?

If Wells Fargo owes you money, under the settlement, it is required to reach out to you. If you think Wells Fargo owes you money and you do not hear from the bank or receive the money contact the CFPB. (855)-411-2372.


Again you may find it tedious, but this story points out why we need to check our online or paper bank statements every month. 







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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.