WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Big bank Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $3.7 billion to US regulators to settle a range of charges including illegal fees and interest charged on auto loans and mortgages, as well as unfair overdraft fees applied to checking and savings accounts. expressed.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Tuesday ordered the bank to return $2 billion to customers and fined it $1.7 billion. It is the largest fine ever applied to a bank by the CFPB and the largest ever for Wells Fargo, which has been struggling for years to restore itself after a series of scandals over its sales practices.
The bureau says more than 16 million customers have been harmed by the bank’s misconduct. Apart from charging unreasonable fees and interest on auto loans, the bank has in some cases illegally repossessed customers’ vehicles. In addition, it unfairly denied thousands of homeowners the opportunity to modify their mortgages.
“Wells Fargo’s cycle of repeated law-breaking has harmed millions of American families,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement.
Since 2016, Wells Fargo has been repeatedly fined by regulatory authorities for violating consumer protection laws. Employees were found to have illegally opened millions of accounts to meet sales targets. Since then, managers have said the bank is straightening out, but other breaches have been disclosed, including those involving home and auto loans.