Wells Fargo Consumer Abuses Not an Industrywide Issue, OCC Says

(Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co.’s practice of creating fake customer accounts, while not confined to the San Francisco-based lender, doesn’t signal a wider issue for the financial industry, a U.S. regulator concluded after examining more than 40 large and mid-sized banks.

In the months-long review, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found incidents of fake accounts at other banks, spokesman Bryan Hubbard said in an emailed statement. Still, the regulator “did not identify systemic issues with bank employees opening accounts without the customer’s consent.”

Detailed results of the review haven’t been released. The OCC found “weaknesses” in sales practices, Hubbard said. The issues centered on “policies, procedures, and controls and in the risk governance framework” at certain banks. He said that most firms fixed the problems.

Wells Fargo was fined $185 million in 2016 for opening millions of potentially fake accounts, prompting the OCC to undertake the industrywide review. The firm declined to comment on the OCC review. American Banker reported the findings earlier.

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