Bank Regulation

Wells Fargo Fines Will Stand And May Grow, Says Trump

In the latest bit of bank regulation news surrounding beleaguered Wells Fargo, the tweets come from the top — from the top of the governmental food chain, so to speak and from the very Twitter account wielded by President Donald Trump.

Reuters reports that the President “took aim” at the company on Friday (Dec. 8th), stating on social media that the fines already in place will stand — and may in fact be hiked.

Stated the tweeter in chief: “Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased. I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!”

The newswire had reported the day before that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), with newly installed interim head Mick Mulvaney, was looking into whether the bank should pay millions of dollars over allegations that the company abused consumers under the terms of its mortgage lending, as cited by three unnamed sources.

Mulvaney had said earlier in the month that he is reviewing more than 100 actions that are in place, ranging from investigations to outright litigation.

As has been widely reported, Wells Fargo has been under fire for letting its employees sign up millions of consumers for financial products that were not requested or needed, and, in a sham accounts scandal that generated scores of headlines, paid more than $100 million in fines.

Two months ago, the company said it would reimburse mortgage holders who had been charged fees as they sought lower rates. The settlement that had been proposed and may still be in the offing is in the range of tens of millions of dollars.

As for Trump’s tweet, the newswire stated that, per commentary from legal experts, it is “highly unusual” for presidents to comment publicly on enforcement actions.

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