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OCC Closes Sales Practices Consent Order Against Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency terminated a 2016 consent order against Wells Fargo.

The consent order concerned deficiencies and unsafe or unsound practices in the bank’s risk management and sales practices, the OCC said in a Thursday (Feb. 15) press release.

The OCC’s order terminating the consent order said “the OCC believes that the safety and soundness of the bank and its compliance with laws and regulations does not require the continued existence of the order.”

Wells Fargo said in a Thursday press release that the consent order regarding sales practice misconduct required the bank to revamp how it sells products and services.

This is the sixth consent order affecting the bank that regulators have terminated since 2019, Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said in the release.

“I have repeatedly said that implementing a risk and control framework appropriate for a bank of our size and complexity is our top priority, and closing consent orders is an important sign of our progress,” Scharf said.

Scharf added that the termination of the consent order confirms Wells Fargo has implemented what was required, that the bank is now stronger and better, and that it will continue its work.

“Our risk and control work remains our top priority,” Scharf said in the release.

Wells Fargo was fined by the OCC, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the City and County of Los Angeles in September 2016.

The CFPB said at the time that its sanctions of the bank were for the “widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.”

At issue in the actions from both the CFPB and the OCC was the sales culture at Wells Fargo and whether employees were pushed into meeting sales targets by any means necessary, PYMNTS reported at the time.

In September, a judge approved Wells Fargo paying $1 billion to settle an investor lawsuit tied to unauthorized customer accounts. It was reported at the time that the settlement brought the amount the bank had agreed to pay in connection with its “fake accounts” scandal to nearly $5 billion.