NEW YORK (AP) — California and federal regulators fined Wells Fargo a combined $185 million on Thursday, alleging the bank's employees illegally opened millions of unauthorized accounts for their customers in order to meet aggressive sales goals.
The San Francisco-based bank will pay $100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created five years ago; $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles. It will also pay restitution to affected customers.
It is the largest fine the CFPB has levied against a financial institution and the largest fine in the history of the Los Angeles City Attorney's office.
The CFPB said Wells Fargo sales staff opened more than 2 million bank and credit card accounts that may have not been authorized by customers. Money in customers' accounts were transferred to these new accounts without authorization. Debit cards were issued and activated, as well as PINs created, without telling customers.