January 1, 2019
On Friday, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $575 million after investigations and lawsuits from all 50 states and the District of Columbia for account fraud and other illegal business practices. Utah will receive $10 million.
Investigations started in 2016 after Wells Fargo admitted employees opened over 3.5 million fraudulent bank accounts in consumers’ names, without their knowledge or consent. Further investigation revealed improper practices involving insurance, auto loans, financing, and mortgages.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office worked alongside the Division of Consumer Protection and 49 other attorneys general to reach an appropriate settlement. From the press release:
“To date, this settlement represents the most significant engagement involving a national bank by state attorneys general acting without a federal law enforcement partner.”
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes stated, “We appreciate the efforts Wells Fargo has made to address these important consumer issues. We all share the same goal: to enjoy a strong economy where consumers’ privacy, choices, and funds are protected. To this end, the Division of Consumer Protection, our assistant AG’s and sister-state Attorneys General acted with vigilance and I am grateful for their hard work.”
This settlement agreement follows previous settlements and fines paid by Wells Fargo. “This agreement underscores our serious commitment to making things right in regard to past issues as we work to build a better bank,” said Tim Sloan, Chief Executive Officer and President of Wells Fargo, in Wells Fargo’s press release.
The $10 million that Utah receives will go to the Division of Consumer Protection Education Fund.
Press release: Utah Division of Consumer Protection to receive $10M in multi-state settlement
The settlement agreement (82-page PDF)
Salt Lake Tribune: Wells Fargo pays $575 million to settle state investigations over fake accounts and other shady practices; $10 million will go to Utah
Deseret News: Wells Fargo pays $575 million to settle state investigations
New York Times: Wells Fargo Agrees to Pay $575 Million to Resolve State Investigations
Photo by Mike Mozart