Wells Fargo to pay $575 million in settlement with U.S

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan

The deal ends investigations that began after federal regulators revealed in September 2016 that Wells Fargo employees had for years opened millions of unauthorized bank accounts in customers' names.

The agreement comes after NY reached a separate, $65 million settlement with Wells Fargo in October over the sham accounts, and after the bank paid $1 billion in April to settle federal charges related to its handling of mortgages and auto loans. Under the new agreement announced on Friday, the bank will also create teams to review and respond to customer complaints about its banking and sales practices.

"Instead of safeguarding its customers Wells Fargo exploited them", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

AG Andy Beshear and the states allege the bank imposed aggressive and unrealistic sales goals on bank employees, and implemented an incentive compensation program where employees could qualify for credit by selling certain products to customers.

Sears may be down to its last 24 hours
The company has been losing money and closing stores for years, and many employees blame its former CEO turned chairman, Lampert. However, as of Thursday afternoon, Lampert had not submitted his bid for failure to raise the cash, insiders say.

Authorities say Wells Fargo also improperly referred customers for enrollment in third-party renters' and life insurance policies and improperly charged auto loan customers for force-placed and collateral protection insurance. As a result, Wells Fargo has agreed to provide remediation of more than $385 million to approximately 850,000 auto finance customers.

According to the states, Wells Fargo also failed to provide proper refunds to auto finance customers who had purchased Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance policies, created to address situations in which a car buyer/borrower ends up owing more than a vehicle's value. Additional information on the redress review program, including Wells Fargo escalation phone numbers and the Wells Fargo dedicated website address for the program will be available on or before February 26, 2019. The bank has identified and contacted affected consumers and has refunded or agreed to refund over $100 million of such fees.

Arizona will receive $37.1 million from Wells Fargo & Co. under a 50-state $575 million settlement to resolve claims that the bank violated state consumer protection laws.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced in June that Wells Fargo had agreed to pay a $1 billion fine as part of a settlement after the bank allegedly forced an auto loan insurance program onto hundreds of thousands of consumers who did not need it and mischarged consumers for certain mortgage interest rate lock extension products.

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