Thousands of Wells Fargo Bank workers spurred by aggressive sales goals opened about 2 million accounts for consumers without their permission, transferring funds from authorized accounts and often racking up fees or other charges for customers.
Wells Fargo will pay restitution to victims and a $100 million fine to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund. The fund can be used for consumer education and financial-literacy programs, as well as to compensate victims in other cases who haven’t received full compensation for harm done to them.
The bank will also pay a $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and $50 million to the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County.
“Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses,” Richard Cordray, director of the bureau, said Thursday. “Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed.”