Wells Fargo faces US regulatory heat after SVB meltdown: source


Wells Fargo is once again in the crosshairs of regulators — and it may be thanks in part to renewed attention from Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York, the Post has learned.

On Friday, Wells Fargo representatives are scheduled to meet with staff from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — or OCC, a key federal regulator for banks that has slapped Wells Fargo with several so-called “matters requiring attention,” or MRAs. , a federal official told On the Money.

According to the source, MRAs are particularly focused on concerns about weak internal financial controls and a lack of oversight of stock and bond traders.

These MRAs were partly prompted by the bank failures earlier this month — after Silicon Valley Bank and Signature went belly up, regulators have a new sense of urgency to mitigate risk.

“MRAs are a shot across the bow,” Jeffrey Smith, a partner at law firm Voris Setter Seymour & Pease, told On the Money. “It’s a regulator’s way of putting the bank on notice.”

“If MRAs are not addressed, regulators can turn up the heat quickly,” Smith adds.

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The insider added that Wells Fargo — led by CEO Charles Scharf — has already been briefed on the MRAs but will officially receive them on Friday.

“Wells Fargo is the problem child of the banking family,” the source told On the Money. “And they’re misbehaving again.”

The OCC declined to comment. Wells Fargo did not respond to a request for comment.

Wells is still operating under nine consent orders that govern everything from how big they can grow their asset management business to strict risk management protocols imposed by the OCC.

In December, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra announced a $3.7 billion settlement with Wells for abuses related to mortgage, auto loan, and overdraft fees.

Chopra said, “While today’s order addresses numerous consumer abuses, it should not be read as a sign that Wells Fargo has overcome its long-term problems or that the CFPB’s work is done here. gone,” said Chopra.

In recent years, the bank has struggled to overcome long-standing regulatory issues — namely a scandal that surfaced in 2016 that showed salespeople falsifying customer accounts to meet unrealistic sales targets. were opening

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