Washington D.C. – In its latest major effort to make things right on behalf of wronged consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered scandal-plagued Wells Fargo to return over $2 billion in ill-gotten money to 16 million customers on top of a $1.7 billion civil penalty for illegal activity involving “several of its product lines” including auto loans and mortgages. Government watchdog Accountable.US called the Bureau’s crackdown on Wells Fargo’s latest consumer abuse scandal another reminder why the financial giant is tied to a lawsuit seeking to cripple the agency’s ability to protect consumers. 

Once again, Wells Fargo messed around with consumers’ hard-earned money and found out that behavior will not stand from the CFPB. It’s obvious why Wells Fargo is linked to a lawsuit threatening to keep the CFPB from protecting consumers from the kind of financial industry abuse the banking giant is notorious for. Wells Fargo has contributed to a long-running, organized effort by greedy industries and politicians in their pocket to defang, defund or do away with the CFPB because it works so well to protect consumers from schemes, scams and predatory behavior. This is all about payback from Wall Street banks and shady industries with an ax to grind that would rather go after the cops on the beat than stop mistreating working people.

Don’t expect the CFPB’s latest win on behalf of consumers to receive much fanfare from incoming Republican HFSC Chairman Patrick McHenry who’s taken millions from the financial industry -- including over $100,000 from Wells Fargo alone. McHenry has made clear he is far more interested in protecting the bottom line of his industry donors than the consumers they routinely mistreat.”

Liz Zelnick, Director of Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power program
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