Wells Fargo Fined $3.7B

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wells Fargo’s “illegal activity” included [repeatedly misapplying loan payments], wrongfully foreclosing on homes, illegally repossessing vehicles, [incorrectly] assessing fees and interest and charging surprise overdraft fees.

The CFPB ordered Wells Fargo to pay the $1.7 billion civil penalty in addition to more than $2 billion to compensate consumers for a range of “illegal activity.” CFPB officials say this is the largest penalty imposed by the agency.

The misconduct described by the CFPB echoes [previously reported revelations] that have emerged about Wells Fargo since 2016 when the bank’s fake-accounts scandal created a national firestorm.

“Wells Fargo’s rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law has harmed millions of American families,” Rohit Chopra, the CFPB’s director, said in a statement.

Officials also made clear on Tuesday that Wells Fargo is not nearly out of the penalty box with regulators.


Let’s hope that this fine is significant enough for WFC to change their ways. I actually cannot believe that the regulators have not shut this bank down yet.

==> not a penny of our wealth is at WFC.


Didn’t Buffet, surely the wisest of “the wise”, have a large position in Wells? Why?


Buffett sold the last of Berkshires wfc position in the first quarter of 2022. It was a large position,and took quite a while to liquidate.


Maybe the bad stuff had not yet been revealed. Buffett spends his time reading SEC filings and you can be sure the bad stuff was not disclosed in those filings.

As I recall from after 2008, Buffett considered Wells Fargo one of the best run banks.

The Captain

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Doubtful. Jaime Dimon’s J P Morgan operates the same way. Fines are a cost of business & the blame is tossed upon “rogue” employees.

J P Morgan has a long history of fine under Dimon’s leadership usually in $200-300 million range though they got hit with a whopper in 2013.
J.P. Morgan is nearing a record $13 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and other federal regulators over mortgage-


Out of curiosity, I thought I’d google Too Big To Fail Banks. Got this list from Investopedia:

  • Bank of America Corp.
  • The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.
  • Citigroup Inc.
  • The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Morgan Stanley
  • State Street Corp.
  • Wells Fargo & Co.

==> I guess WFC can do anything they want then…


I love the irony of this post.

Well done!


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Not a fan of conspiracy theories, but ……….

The thing I wonder about when I see these big fines for banks and pharmaceutical companies is, how much money did they pocket from their illegal activity in the first place?

For example, if Morgan made $26 billion from this activity and now have to pay a $13 billion settlement, it doesn’t seem like much of a deterrent to bad behavior.

You never see how much they made, only the fine they pay.


To give you a sense of scale, the wells fargo fine was 1/4 of net earnings for systemic illegal behavior that was first caught in 2016 and continued for at least five years.


Jim - I was wondering if the fine was 1/4 net earnings for the 5 year period or recent one year period so I went hunting. From their 2021 Annual Report:

In 2021, Wells Fargo generated $21.5 billion in net income

So I see that it would be about 20% of Net Income / Earnings for ONE YEAR

I guess if I were management, I’d think I just got away with robbing a bank.


If they weren’t making money I doubt the behavior would continue.

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If any bank deserves the “death penalty”, it is indeed WF.

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Is there a legal way to shut down a bank (let alone a “too big to fail” bank") for malfeasance?

I don’t think WFC will change its ways until the actual people responsible for the malfeasance (starting with the CEO who is responsible for the corporate culture) are actually tried, convicted and put in jail. But that didn’t happen to any financial managers during the 2008 financial crisis and I would be the most surprised girl in the room if any WFC managers were personally fined and/or jailed.



Jamie Dimon has made it clear he finds it profitable to run a criminal enterprise. No-one ever lays a glove on him. Of course, he spreads plenty of “protected free speech” around to try and have all those “intrusive, burdensome, big gummit” regulations repealed, so he can stuff even more loot in his own pocket.



One bank was prosecuted Wendy in 2008. It was small enough to fail. And small enough to jail. Its sad, actually, what happened.


It was this story in 2012 that prompted me to close all accounts at Wells Fargo. I e-mailed a note to John G Stumpf, the CEO, explaining why he was losing my business. It was only a few hundred thousand, but I’m sure there were others like me and it must add up.
Husband's Suicide Yesterday, Wells Fargo to Evict Wife Tomorrow Anyway | Mandelman Matters

I’m glad to see the CFPB has gotten around to imposing some sort of retribution. It would be nicer to see actual people doing prison time.



What a sad, sad story. I usually don’t wish bad things on others, but I really hope WFC goes down big time.


Every time I’ve had to deal with Well Fargo, I felt ripped off. They essentially stole two accounts that belonged to my parents and my sister. They keep sending notices that the accounts are being turned over to the state of Florida, but this has been going on for years and they never do it. They also required my mother to open an account that no one wanted in order to cash a CD. I wouldn’t invest in them or put my money in their hands–unfortunately they’ve bought our mortgage, and I’m hoping we don’t have any trouble when we pay that off.


Local WF here in NorCal I am sure ripped off my parents, as the executor after Dad passed, naturally the Will was in their safe deposit box, manager gave me a lot of static, but eventually let me take it, but there had at one time been gold coins, not a lot, but a dozen or so, they vanished at some point, my suspicion was that the manger ripped 'em off, maybe gave them only face value… Poof, gone… Never did any business with that bank, ever…

In related news:

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