Collins, McCaskill Request Additional Information on Wells Fargo’s Illegal Practices

Senators continue strong history of advocacy on consumer protection issues

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Claire McCaskill, who together lead the Senate Aging Committee, today requested additional information from the government concerning the recently announced settlement with Wells Fargo, and whether it disproportionately affected America’s seniors. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently determined that Wells Fargo employees had illegally opened millions of accounts that consumers had never requested in order to boost individual performance goals and bonuses. 

The CFPB said that Wells Fargo employees applied for approximately 565,000 credit cards and 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers—sometimes illegally transferring money into those accounts in order to make them active. This sometimes resulted in overdraft or late fee charges for affected consumers. Wells Fargo was ordered to pay $185 million in fines to various entities, including a $100 million fine to the CFPB.

“We have concerns about the impact this activity has had on our nation’s senior population, especially those who do not conduct their financial business on the Internet. According to Pew Research Center, just 56 percent of adults over age 65 use the Internet,” the Senators said in their letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray. They also asked if CFPB had worked with other branches of government to pursue civil or criminal penalties against the employees engaged in fraud.

A copy of the Senators’ letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray is available online HERE.