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Wells Fargo to pay $37.3 million to settle US claims it fraudulently overcharged customers

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) & Co will pay $37.3 million to resolve U.S. government claims it fraudulently overcharged commercial clients on...
Wells Fargo to pay $37.3 million to settle US claims it fraudulently overcharged customers © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) & Co will pay $37.3 million to resolve U.S. government claims it fraudulently overcharged commercial clients on foreign exchange services, the latest in a string of scandals over the bank's treatment of customers.

Monday's settlement resolves U.S. Department of Justice civil fraud charges against the fourth-largest U.S. bank. It includes a $35.3 million fine plus a $2 million forfeiture.

Wells Fargo previously returned $35.3 million to customers as restitution, making its total payout nearly $73 million, court papers show.

The Justice Department said sales specialists jokingly used expressions such as "back the truck up" and "when in doubt, spread them out" when they were overcharging customers, with one referring to the sales group as a "bucket shop."

Spokespeople for the bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The settlement was filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan and requires a judge's approval.

In afternoon trading, Wells Fargo shares were down 58 cents, or 1.2%, at $47.34.

The San Francisco-based bank has been subject since 2018 to a Federal Reserve cap on assets, which must remain below $1.95 trillion until it improves its governance and risk controls.

Wells Fargo has already paid more than $5 billion in fines since the scandals began in 2016.

On Sept. 22, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank was closely monitoring the bank's efforts to address "widespread and pervasive" problems.

Powell spoke eight days after Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called for Wells Fargo to be broken up.

Monday's settlement resolves claims that Wells Fargo defrauded 771 commercial customers, including many small- and mid-sized businesses, on foreign exchange services between 2010 and 2017.

The government said Wells Fargo systematically charged higher spreads and sales margins than it promised, and encouraged the overcharges by linking specialists' bonuses to how much revenue they generated.

According to court papers, specialists also used what they called the "big figure trick" or "transposition error game" to cheat customers, such as by charging $1.0213 to buy euros instead of $1.0123, picking up an extra 89 basis points.

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27-10-2021 01:38:52 (UTC+7)

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EUR/USD

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 EUR/USD1.1599Buy
 GBP/USD1.3767Neutral
 USD/JPY114.14↑ Sell
 AUD/USD0.7506Neutral
 USD/CAD1.2385↑ Buy
 EUR/JPY132.38Sell
 EUR/CHF1.0667↑ Sell
 Gold1,794.30↑ Buy
 Silver24.188↑ Buy
 Copper4.4908Buy
 Crude Oil WTI84.56↑ Sell
 Brent Oil85.62↑ Sell
 Natural Gas6.000Neutral
 US Coffee C208.30↑ Buy
 Euro Stoxx 504,223.97↑ Sell
 S&P 5004,582.10↑ Buy
 DAX15,757.06↑ Sell
 FTSE 1007,277.62↑ Buy
 Hang Seng26,038.27↑ Buy
 Small Cap 20002,306.85↑ Buy
 IBEX 359,001.60↑ Sell
 BASF63.740↑ Buy
 Bayer48.83↑ Buy
 Allianz201.95↑ Buy
 Adidas280.25↑ Sell
 Lufthansa5.628↑ Buy
 Siemens AG141.36↑ Buy
 Deutsche Bank AG11.905↑ Buy
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank5,800/ 5,850
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SJC Hanoi5,790/ 5,862
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SJC Danang5,790/ 5,862
(0/ 0) # 902
SJC Nhatrang5,790/ 5,862
(0/ 0) # 902
SJC Cantho5,790/ 5,862
(0/ 0) # 902
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KRW16,8320,49
Cập nhật lúc 18:54:25 26/10/2021
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