Attorney General George Jepsen today announced on Friday Wells Fargo Bank will pay $575 million to resolve claims that the bank violated state consumer protection laws.
“Wells Fargo engaged in conduct that violated the public’s trust and ran afoul of state laws,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “This settlement resolves Connecticut’s consumer protection claims against the bank and creates an important avenue for Connecticut consumers seeking redress for the bank’s improper conduct.”
Through this settlement with all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the company will also create a consumer redress review program through which consumers who have not been made whole through other remediation programs.
Wells Fargo Bank was accused of:
1) Opening millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolling customers into online banking services without their knowledge or consent.
2) Improperly referring customers for enrollment in third-party renters and life insurance policies .
3) Improperly charging auto loan customers for force-placed and unnecessary collateral protection insurance .
4) Failing to ensure that customers received refunds of unearned premiums on certain optional auto finance products.
5) Incorrectly charging customers for mortgage rate lock extension fees.
The states alleged many other misconduct actions including imposing aggressive and unrealistic sales goals on bank employees, improperly charging premiums, interest, and fees for force-placed collateral protection insurance to more than two million auto financing customers, and more.
Connecticut served on the multi-state investigation’s leadership and negotiating team, along with the attorneys general of Arizona, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Connecticut’s share of the settlement is $5,242,279, which will be deposited into the state’s General Fund.
As part of its settlement with the states, Wells Fargo has agreed to implement within 60 days a program through which consumers who believe they were affected by the bank’s conduct, but fell outside the prior restitution programs, can contact Wells Fargo to be reviewed for potential redress.
Wells Fargo will create and maintain a website for consumers to use to access the program and will provide periodic reports to the states about ongoing restitution efforts.