Skip to main content

SEC Looking Into Wells Fargo Communications

Mike Savino
Feb 22, 2023
Wells Fargo Bank

Regulators have been cracking down on retention of employee messages

Wells Fargo is once again under investigation by federal regulators. 

This time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission are looking into Wells Fargo’s “compliance with records retention requirements relating to business communications sent over unapproved electronic messaging channels,” the company disclosed Tuesday in an SEC filing. 

The company did not elaborate. The SEC has been cracking down on publicly traded companies’ retention of electronic messages between employees. 

In September, the agency announced settlements with 15 firms totaling $1.1 billion for “widespread and longstanding failure” to maintain and preserve these communications. 

The list of offenders included Bank of America Securities Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC. 

Wells Fargo also disclosed in Tuesday’s filing that it remains “involved in a number of judicial, regulatory, governmental, arbitration and other proceedings or investigations concerning matters arising from the conduct of its business activities, and many of those proceedings and investigations expose the Company to potential financial loss or other adverse consequences.” 

In December, the nation’s fourth largest bank by assets agreed to pay the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau $3.7 billion to settle a complaint over a wide range of practices. 

The CFPB said at the time that Wells Fargo had engaged in a “rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law,” including improperly denying thousands of applications for mortgage loan modifications. 

Wells Fargo did score a partial victory last month, when a federal judge in North Carolina dismissed parts of a discrimination lawsuit

The judge did allow the case, which alleges Wells Fargo relied on a biased appraisal as part of a refinance application, to move forward, but dismissed claims the bank conspired with the appraiser to commit any wrongdoing. 

Feb 22, 2023
CFPB Slaps Bank Of America With $12 Million Penalty For False Mortgage Data Reporting

For at least four years, hundreds of Bank of America loan officers failed to ask mortgage applicants certain demographic questions.

Rising Home Values Propel Higher Loan Limits

FHFA Announces 5.6% Increase in Conforming Loan Limits for 2024

NMLS — Then, Now, And To Come

Leaders reminisce, plan, and dream about the regulatory group on its 15th birthday

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Shareholders Win Prejudgment Interest On $299M Verdict

Federal court upholds shareholders' right to interest after government's wrongful claim on profits; simple interest rate set, drawing from Delaware law precedent.

ADUs Can Now Be Sold Separately In California

‘Backyard revolution’ opens up the affordable housing market.

Cracking The Crackdown

How to eliminate and prevent ‘junk’ fees to avoid penalties