Wells Fargo agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve allegations the bank pressured employees to meet “unrealistic” sales goals, leading to the creation of millions of fake customer accounts, the Justice Department announced Friday.
In the settlement, the company admitted it collected millions of dollars in fees and interest through the fake accounts and other products to which it wasn’t entitled. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California said Wells Fargo also harmed the credit ratings of some customers and unlawfully used customers’ personal information in the process.
“This case illustrates a complete failure of leadership at multiple levels within the bank. Simply put, Wells Fargo traded its hard-earned reputation for short-term profits, and harmed untold numbers of customers along the way,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said. “We are hopeful that this $3 billion penalty, along with the personnel and structural changes at the bank, will ensure that such conduct will not reoccur.”