CFPB Probing Wells Fargo’s Checking Account Practices
Wells Fargo has been under continuous scrutiny since 2016 when it was revealed that the the bank charged fees on millions of accounts they opened through misleading tactics or without customers’ knowledge or consent. Wells Fargo has now disclosed in an SEC filing on Wednesday that it is under a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigation over its handling of consumer bank accounts.
The agency is examining the firm’s past disclosures to customers about how often they had to use a debit card to receive a fee waiver for certain deposit accounts, Reuters reports. The watchdog is also looking into whether customers were “unduly harmed” by the company’s practices regarding freezing and closing consumer deposit accounts after it suspected of fraudulent activity.
“As previously reported, we conducted a review of the fee waiver based on debit-card usage, and we are issuing refunds to customers who may have found previous disclosures unclear,” Jim Seitz, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, said in an emailed statement. “It’s part of our broader ongoing efforts to make things right for our customers.”
In 2018, Wells Fargo paid over $1 billion in a settlement over inappropriate fees and forcing customers to purchase auto insurance that they did not need. In its filing, the company said it estimates potential losses for litigation over the scandals was a total $2.6 billion as of March 31. The company is still in litigation over the account opening scandal.