Bank Regulation

Wells Fargo Needs An Extension To Meet OCC Consent Order

Wells Fargo, the embattled bank, is gearing up to ask the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for an extension to a deadline to meet an enforcement action that has to do with anti-money laundering controls at the bank.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported the bank’s wholesale business, which provides services to large corporations, is having a hard time meeting a consent order from November of 2015. The consent order stems from problems related to how the bank ensures the proper identification documents of new and existing customers. It has a June 30 deadline to meet the consent order. If it fails to meet the deadline, it could be hit with another enforcement action, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.  The bank, during the past few months, has been talking to the OCC about meeting the consent order, noted the report.

According to The Wall Street Journal, at the time of the action in November of 2015, Wells Fargo had more than 100,000 customer accounts that had to be verified, while thousands more needed specific work. Leading up to the consent order, the OCC has given Wells Fargo notices that it had deficiencies in controlling for money laundering. The enforcement action was taken in part because Wells Fargo didn’t address the concerns of the OCC.

The latest problems come just a few days after the OCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau slapped a $1 billion fine on Wells Fargo, in what is seen as a departure for the CFPB under acting director Mick Mulvaney.  The fine stems from its auto unit, in which the bank was forced last year to apologize for giving 570,000 customers car insurance they didn’t want or ask for. An internal review by Wells Fargo found that around 20,000 customers may have defaulted on their auto loans and lost their vehicles partly because of the cost of the auto insurance that they didn’t request but was tacked on to their loans.


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