Sen. Elizabeth Warren has asked Wells Fargo for details on alleged fees being imposed on clients months after they’d closed certain accounts. In some cases, the overdraft fees totaled “hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” she said in a letter sent to the bank Wednesday.
The request by Warren (D.-Mass), who is running for president, follows a report last week in The New York Times that uncovered the bank “routinely” keeping open accounts closed by bank customers, she said. The paper reported that bank clients have complained to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and to the bank about the charges.
“These new revelations raise grave concerns that despite these assurances, Wells Fargo is still fundamentally broken and has not only continued to scam customers out of thousands of dollars with impunity, but has even targeted customers who were attempting to leave the bank — and may have been victims of previous scams — to unfairly collect one final set of lucrative fees for Wells Fargo,” Warren wrote.
Banks typically “stop honoring all transactions on the specified account closure date,” she explained.
Warren requested that the bank answer a series of questions about the closed-account matter by Sept. 3, brief her staff on it by Sept. 12 and waive “supervisory privilege” so details about the issue can be given to her staff by federal regulators.
String of Woes
Wells Fargo drew regulators’ attention about three years ago over more than 1 million fake accounts. Currently, it is operating without a permanent CEO. Interim CEO Allen Parker, the bank’s general counsel, was appointed in late March, when then CEO Tim Sloan left amid intense scrutiny from Warren and others.