Wells Fargo pays $65 mln to settle 'cross-sell' fraud claims with New York

Thomson Reuters

Wells Fargo & Co will pay $65 million to settle claims that it misled investors about its "cross-selling" business strategy, the New York Attorney General's office said on Monday.

A push by Wells Fargo to get existing customers to buy more of the bank's products, known as "cross-selling," was at the center of a fake customer accounts scandal that has dogged the bank for two years.

Wells Fargo failed to disclose to investors that the success of its cross-selling was built on sales practice misconduct, Underwood's office said.

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"The misconduct at Wells Fargo was widespread across the bank and at every level of management – impacting both customers and investors who were misled," New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.

The bank, which has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in regulatory fines and settlements related to the scandal, said in a statement it had previously accrued the penalty costs.

Since the sales scandal came to light in 2016, Wells Fargo has overhauled management and is trying to regain trust, including through an ad campaign saying that Wells Fargo was established in 1852 and "re-established" in 2018. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)