Joint Letters: Key Consumer, Labor, and Financial Reform Groups Push Regulators to Revoke Wells Fargo’s Charter and Deposit Insurance

Groups cite repeated abuses of consumers as evidence Wells can’t be trusted


Today seven organizations called on federal regulators to revoke the national bank charter and federal deposit insurance of Wells Fargo in response to overwhelming evidence that the bank has repeatedly violated the law, harming consumers and undermining the public trust.

A letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) asks that agency to revoke Wells Fargo’s national banking charter. In a separate letter, the groups requested that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) terminate the bank’s deposit insurance.

Signatories to the letter include: AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, the Rootstrikers Project of Demand Progress, Allied Progress, Center for Popular Democracy, Communication Workers of America, and U.S. PIRG.

“Wells Fargo’s recent misconduct makes it clear that the company’s egregious and repeated violations of law require a timely and serious response from its regulators,” the groups wrote. “Absent such a response, regulators risk signaling that they will permit persistent lawbreaking as part of a viable business model.”

The letter details recent legal violations that have harmed consumers, including:

  • Opening up more than 3.5 million accounts and other products without customer authorization
  • Originating badly underwritten mortgages and selling them to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA
  • Illegal repossession of servicemembers’ vehicles
  • Improper auto insurance charges
  • Illegal overdraft charges
  • Illegal student loan servicing
  • Overcharging for identity protection products

“[Wells Fargo’s] actions to conceal, rather than remedy, misconduct further undermine trust in the bank and raise the question of what other violations have not yet been discovered,” the groups wrote.  “Whatever the ultimate cause of these violations – gross mismanagement, a toxic corporate culture, or growth that has left the bank too big to manage – the agencies’ current approach to enforcement has failed.”