North Carolina Settles With Wells Fargo for $575 Million Over Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
settlement is an important reminder that attorneys general will hold banks accountable
Attorney General Josh Stein has announced that Wells Fargo will pay $575 million to resolve claims that the bank violated state consumer protection laws. North Carolina’s share of the settlement is $15,174,791.40. To date, this settlement represents the most significant engagement by state attorneys general involving a national bank without a federal law enforcement partner.
“Wells Fargo prioritized making money over treating its customers fairly,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The way Wells mistreated its customers – opening unauthorized accounts, improperly charging fees, failing to provide refunds – is unacceptable. In addition to providing necessary relief, this settlement is an important reminder that attorneys general will hold banks accountable and protect the people of our states.”
This settlement resolves claims that Wells Fargo:
- opened millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolled customers into online banking services without their knowledge or consent;
- improperly referred customers for enrollment in third-party renters and life insurance policies;
- improperly charged auto loan customers for force-placed and unnecessary collateral protection insurance
failed to ensure that customers received refunds of unearned premiums on certain optional auto finance products; and
- incorrectly charging customers for mortgage rate lock extension fees.
Through this settlement with 50 states and the District of Columbia, Wells Fargo will also create a consumer redress review program through which consumers who have not been made whole through other restitution programs already in place can seek review of their inquiry or complaint by a bank escalation team for possible relief.
More 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.