CFPB’s $3.7B Settlement With Wells Fargo Sends a Clear Message to Corporate Wrongdoers

December 20, 2022 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — In response to news that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ordering Wells Fargo to pay $3.7 billion for a myriad of violations, including charging unlawful surprise overdraft fees, wrongfully foreclosing on homes, improperly denying mortgage modifications, and illegally repossessing vehicles, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.

“The CFPB’s actions today send a loud and clear message: Wells Fargo is not above the law,” said Sarah Miller, Executive Director of the American Economic Liberties Project. “This $3.7 billion fine will leave a massive mark on one corporate America’s worst repeat offenders and provide relief to the millions of Americans they cheated. It is part of a broader suite of efforts the CFPB is bringing to create systemic change in corporate America and yet another example of the agency’s commitment to protecting working families from corporate abuse.”

The CFPB’s $3.7 billion settlement, $2 billion in redress for consumers and $1.7 billion civil penalty, is the largest in the agency’s history. In its 11 years, Wells Fargo has been one of the worst repeat offenders of consumer financial protection law. Between 2011 and 2022, consumers were allegedly assessed fees and interest charges in auto and mortgage loans, had cars wrongly repossessed, had mortgage payments that were misapplied to loans, and charged illegal overdraft fees. The CFPB has made clear that its actions today are an initial step to quickly bring relief to consumers, but are by no means the end of its enforcement strategy.

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.

The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.