Bank Regulation

Ohio Gives Wells Fargo Six-Month Time Out

Ohio announced that it is extending its ban on doing business with Wells Fargo because the bank “still has work to do” when it comes to assisting consumers and fixing its internal problems.

“This bank has not yet regained the public’s confidence,” Governor John Kasich said in a statement.

According to a Reuters news report, the state stopped doing business with Wells Fargo last October after the company revealed that 3.5 million fake accounts may have been created without customer approval.

At that time, Kasich said that Ohio would avoid working with the bank on debt offerings or financial services for one year. But that was before additional scandals hit Wells Fargo in recent months, including being accused of selling auto insurance to customers who didn’t want or need it, as well as improperly forcing thousands of U.S. customers to lock in home interest rates when their mortgage applications were delayed.

As a result, Kasich has extended the ban through April, and said he was “willing to revisit this situation in six months.”

A Wells Fargo official said that the bank is committed to repairing its image with the public.

“We will continue in our efforts to rebuild trust with our customers in Ohio and nationwide,” said the spokesman. “We are disappointed in the governor’s decision.”

Other cities and states have enacted similar bans, including New York City, Chicago, Massachusetts, Illinois and California, although it’s unknown if those bans are still in place.

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