Wells Fargo will pay $97.8 million to resolve U.S. government sanctions related to inadequate oversight of its compliance risks from 2010 to 2015.
The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Thursday that they were imposing $67.8 million and $30 million penalties respectively against Wells Fargo for enabling the violation of federal sanctions against Iran, Syria and Sudan.
The Fed and OFAC said the bank's deficient oversight “enabled it to provide a trade finance platform to a foreign bank that used the platform to process approximately $532 million in prohibited transactions.”
OFAC’s announcement said that, starting in 2008, Wells Fargo and its predecessor Wachovia Bank provided a foreign bank with software that allowed that bank to process 124 transactions involving countries and entities prohibited by OFAC.
The Fed and OFAC do not identify the foreign bank. The trade finance platform was identified as Eximbills.
In an email to Banking Dive, a Wells Fargo spokesperson said the bank was “pleased to resolve this legacy matter involving conduct that ended in 2015, which we voluntarily self-reported and fully cooperated with OFAC and the Federal Reserve Board to address.”
According to OFAC’s public announcement, the bank’s senior management had no direct knowledge of this activity until 2015, and that it “was not a result of a systemic compliance breakdown within the broader Wells Fargo organization.”
Wells Fargo has been subject to billions in federal penalties in the last year, including a $3.7 billion penalty in December to settle with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over a slew of consumer abuses related to auto loans, mortgages and deposit accounts.
Earlier this month, Carrie Tolstedt, the executive who served as Wells Fargo’s retail-banking chief at the time of its 2016 fake-accounts scandal, was ordered to pay $17 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in connection with the scandal.