Wells Fargo & Company announced Friday (April 21) it is expanding its class-action settlement over its fake account scandal to include any customers who were impacted by sales practice issues as early as May 2002.
In a press release, the embattled bank said the updated settlement adds $32 million to the total settlement amount, which was previously $142 million.
“The expansion of this agreement is another important step to make things right for our customers,” said Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo’s president and chief executive officer, in the announcement. “On our journey to rebuild trust, we want to ensure our customers feel confident that we have heard their concerns about retail sales practices, which includes offering them numerous opportunities for remediation. We encourage any customer with concerns or questions about their accounts to contact us.”
According to the bank, it has submitted the class-action settlement agreement and summary of claims process in the Northern District of California to settle the lawsuit concerning retail sales practices. The updated settlement agreement takes into account findings from the Sales Practices Investigation conducted by the independent board directors of Wells Fargo, which it said it released on April 10. The settlement class now will consist of all customers who claim that Wells Fargo opened an account in their name without consent, enrolled them in a product or service without consent, or submitted an application for a product or service in their name without consent during the period from May 1, 2002, through April 20, 2017. The bank said it expects the revised settlement will resolve claims in 11 other pending class-action lawsuits. Once attorneys' fees and costs of administration are covered, Wells Fargo said those receiving settlements will be compensated for fees incurred, compensation for damage to credit caused by the opening of unauthorized accounts at Wells Fargo and, after repayment of fee damages and credit impact damages, additional compensation paid from the Net Settlement Fund.
Customers who were charged fees in connection with unused, unauthorized accounts from January 1, 2009, through April 20, 2017, will be eligible to receive fee reimbursement in the amount of the actual fees they were charged as determined by the settlement administrator. If a customer was charged fees related to an unauthorized account from May 1, 2002, through December 31, 2008, he or she will receive a flat-rate fee reimbursement that will be based on the average of fees paid out to those who file claims for the January 1, 2009, through April 20, 2017, period, Wells Fargo said.