UNITED STATES NEWS

US eases restrictions on Wells Fargo after years of strict oversight following scandal

Feb 15, 2024, 11:21 AM | Updated: 11:46 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The Biden Administration is easing its restrictions on banking giant Wells Fargo, saying the bank has sufficiently fixed its toxic culture after years of scandals.

The news sent Wells Fargo’s stock up sharply Thursday as investors speculated that the bank, which has been kept under a tight leash by regulators for years, may be able to rebuild its reputation and start growing again.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the regulator of big national banks like Wells, terminated its consent order on Thursday that had been in place since September 2016. The order required Wells to overhaul how it sold financial products to customers and provide additional consumer protections, as well as employee protections for whistleblowers.

After a series of newspaper and regulatory investigations in 2016, Wells was found to have a poisonous sales culture that would pressure employees into selling multiple products to customers though such products were not needed. Millions of unauthorized accounts were opened, severely tarnishing the reputation of Wells Fargo, once among the most sterling in banking.

Since the scandal broke, Wells overhauled its board of directors and management, paid more than a billion dollars in fines and penalties, and has spent eight years trying to show the public that its bad practices were behind it. Employees have started unionizing at some branches, with little push back from management.

In a brief statement Thursday, the Comptroller of the Currency said that Wells Fargo’s “safety and soundness” and “compliance with laws and regulations does not require the continue existence of the Order.”

The decision is a major victory for Wells’ management and Charles Scharf, who took over as CEO in 2019.

“Confirmation from the OCC that we have effectively implemented what was required is a result of the hard work of so many of our employees, and I’d like to thank everyone at Wells Fargo involved for their dedication to transforming how we do business,” Scharf said in a prepared statement.

There remains in place a Federal Reserve consent order against Wells as well as a requirement by the Fed that Wells grow no bigger than its current size until it fixed its sales culture. The Fed did not immediately respond to comment, but the OCC’s decision is likely to pressure the Fed to make its own decision regarding its restrictions on Wells.

United States News

Associated Press

6 people killed, 10 others injured in Idaho when pickup crashes into passenger van

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Six people were killed Saturday in Idaho in a two-car accident that included a large passenger van, authorities said. Ten others were injured in the crash on U.S. Highway 20 in Idaho Falls and taken to local hospitals, Idaho State Police said in a statement. An eastbound pickup crossed the […]

1 hour ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

KTAR.com

Rudy Giuliani served Arizona indictment in alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results

Attorney Rudy Giuliani was served notice on Friday of his Arizona indictment in the alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results in former President Donald Trump's favor, according to Kris Mayes, the state's attorney general.

7 hours ago

Associated Press

6 Penn students among 19 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested during attempt to occupy building

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A half-dozen University of Pennsylvania students were among 19 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested during an attempt to occupy a school building, university police said Saturday. Their arrests came a week after authorities broke up a protest encampment on campus and arrested nine students — and as other colleges across the country, anxious to […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

US intelligence suggests American who vanished in Syria in 2017 has died, daughter says she was told

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have developed specific and highly credible intelligence suggesting that an American citizen who disappeared seven years ago while traveling in Syria has died, the man’s daughter said Saturday. Maryam Kamalmaz said in an interview with The Associated Press that during a meeting in Washington this month with eight senior American […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Hot weather poses new risk as thousands remain without power after deadly Houston storm

HOUSTON (AP) — As the Houston area works to clean up and restore power to hundreds of thousands after deadly storms left at least seven people dead, it will do so amid a smog warning and scorching temperatures that could pose health risks. National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard said on Saturday that highs of […]

19 hours ago

north-korean-fraud...

Nick Borgia

Arizona woman accused of involvement in major North Korean fraud scheme

An Arizona woman is being prosecuted for allegedly assisting in North Korean fraud schemes to place overseas IT workers in U.S. positions.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

US eases restrictions on Wells Fargo after years of strict oversight following scandal