Wells Fargo to Pay $37 Million Penalty for Overcharging Currency Customers

Wells Fargo paid $37 million to settle government claims that the bank defrauded almost 800 customers by overcharging their exchange rate transactions.

The Department of Justice lawsuit, filed Monday in New York federal court, is the latest for the scandal-plagued bank.

The suit alleged that Wells Fargo (ticker: WFC) told 771 customers between 2010 and 2017 they were being charged certain fixed exchange rates, but then incentivized its sales specialists to overcharge the customers for the transaction. The customers were mostly small or medium-sized businesses or federally insured financial institutions, the suit said.

“Through this brazen and wide-ranging fraud, Wells Fargo was able to secretly obtain tens of millions of dollars from the customers to which the bank was not entitled,” according to the suit.

On Sept. 10, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency slapped the bank with a $250 million fine for failing to make enough progress on fixing its mortgage business. Wells Fargo simultaneously announced that a consent order issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding its retail sales prices had expired.

Wells Fargo shares were falling 0.8% on Monday.