2018-08-06 — thinkprogress.org
Wells Fargo's actual banking practices continue to be at odds with the increasingly cheerful and apologetic tone of their advertising copy. This week, a new regulatory filing revealed that hundreds of customers -- 625 in total -- were denied loans and, in many cases, foreclosed upon because a company computer glitch marked "certain accounts" between April 2010 and October 2015 as undergoing the foreclosure process. The company said in the filing that it set aside $8 million to pay off those affected. It later issued a statement saying it was "very sorry," according to CNN.
Since 2000, the federal government has slapped Wells Fargo with a grand total of $12.5 billion in fines, for a range of unlawful practices including mortgage abuses, banking violations, toxic securities abuses, and False Claims Act violations, according to the corporate watchdog group Good Jobs First. But, Republicans, through the passage of its corporate tax cuts over the winter, have ensured that the fines will not be damaging to the bank's bottom line.
Wells Fargo was estimated to save $3.7 billion from that corporate tax rate reduction. In an interview, CEO Tim Sloan made it clear that the bank planned to return that money to its shareholders. The company, nevertheless, did not disabuse anyone of the notion that its tax reform windfall made it back to its average-Joe American employees when the bank implemented a previously-planned minimum wage hike, which really only cost the bank $80 million.
In February, the Federal Reserve told the bank it could not grow beyond $2 trillion in assets until it was determined that they can function without scamming people. The bank agreed to remove four people from their board of directors by the end of the year, with Sloan insisting that the bank was "focused on addressing all of the Federal Reserve's concerns."
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