It’s a tough race to be the most crooked bank in America, but Wells Fargo, God bless ‘em, has been making a strong case for quite some time now.
Now, the bank is facing even more fines for being incredibly shitty. According to the New York Times, federal regulators are preparing to slap the bank with a $1 billion fine for screwing customers by forcing them to buy auto insurance they didn’t need, amongst other things:
In addition to punishing Wells Fargo for forcing auto insurance on customers, the regulatory action is expected to cite the bank for improperly charging mortgage customers and for failing to maintain adequate risk management and compliance practices, according to one of the people briefed on the action.
A Wells Fargo spokesman, Oscar Suris, declined to comment.
The Times says that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s portion of the penalty would likely be the largest fine it’s ever handed down, and that this will be the “toughest action” that the Trump administration has taken against a bank to date.
In 2017, in the middle of several scandals, the bank gave CEO Timothy Sloan a 36 percent raise, to $17.4 million. “Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan enabled the bank’s massive fake accounts scam, got rich off it, and helped cover it up,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusettssaid in a tweet in March. “He should have been fired – instead, he just got a big, fat raise.”
In somewhat related news, the Senate voted on Wednesday to overturn a CFPB guidance issued during the Obama administration that barred auto lenders from charging black and Latino customers higher fees for car loans. “The bill before us today sends a message to lenders across the country that if you’re illegally discriminating, you’re free to get away with it,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, said on Wednesday. The bill passed anyway, with votes from 50 Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
“By voting to roll back the CFPB’s work, senators have emboldened banks and finance companies to engage in racial discrimination by charging millions of people of color more for a car loan than is justified,” Rion Dennis of Americans for Financial Reform said in a statement responding to that vote. “Lawmakers have also opened the door to challenging longstanding agency actions that are crucial to protecting workers, consumers, civil rights, the environment and the economy.”