World: Wells Fargo pays $1 billion to federal regulators


Wells Fargo is paying $1 billion to two federal regulators to settle an array of investigations into its mortgage and auto-lending practices.

The settlements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were announced Friday, as expected.

The bank is effectively paying $500 million to each regulator. The consumer bureau said it was imposing a $1 billion penalty but was deducting from that the amount that Wells Fargo was paying to the currency comptroller.

The joint action is the most significant one taken by federal banking regulators under the Trump administration. It is also the consumer bureau’s first enforcement measure since President Donald Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, as interim director.

Mulvaney is a longtime critic of the consumer bureau.

The settlement is the latest in a bevy of fines and punishments that federal and state regulators have imposed on Wells Fargo since it was found that the bank had opened millions of false accounts in the names of it customers.

Before $1 billion penalty announced Friday, state and federal regulators and the Justice Department had levied almost $1.5 billion in penalties against the bank for offenses that included punishing whistleblowers to unlawfully repossessing the cars of military service members.

MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN © 2018 The New York Times

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