Skip to main content

As we’ve seen, over and over again, over the last six years and four CEOs, it can take a while for things to sink in over at Wells Fargo. Being rapped for some malfeasance or failure or other shortcoming/disaster once generally doesn’t do the trick. (In fact, we don’t actually know how many rulers across the wrist it requires, because we can’t think of anything Wells has stopped doing wrong.)

So it is, it seems, with money-laundering controls. Back in November 2017, Wells agreed to pay $3.5 million for failing to file suspicious activity reports about all of the suspicious activity going on in its accounts. Given the bills for other screw-ups Wells was paying at the time and subsequently, unsurprisingly this didn’t focus the bank’s mind on matters anti-money laundering. Indeed, it hadn’t even stopped not filing SARs when necessary as it signed the settlement.

The unit failed to file at least 34 reports between April 2017 and October 2021, the SEC said…. Most of Wells Fargo’s alleged shortfalls stemmed from failure to make sure that an anti-money-laundering system installed in 2019 actually worked as intended, the SEC said…. Some problems occurred because the system didn’t properly cross-reference country codes used on a money-laundering watchlist with the country codes used to process wire transfers, the SEC said…. At least nine additional reports weren’t properly filed because Wells Fargo’s anti-money-laundering system malfunctioned on certain days, for example, when the investment adviser was open on a bank holiday, the SEC said.

Well, if $3.5 million and a not-so-sternly-worded press release didn’t do the trick—and, after all, a $1 billion fine didn’t instill much of a sense of urgency around fixing its mortgage systems—we’re not sure this sends the message the SEC seems to think it will.

A Wells Fargo & Co. unit has agreed to pay $7 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission after alleged glitches in a new anti-money-laundering system let suspicious transactions escape initial notice…. [SEC Enforcement Director Gurbir] Grewal said the agency wanted to send a message that anti-money-laundering obligations are “sacrosanct.”

Wells Fargo to Pay $7 Million Over Alleged Anti-Money-Laundering Glitches [WSJ]

For more of the latest in litigation, regulation, deals and financial services trends, sign up for Finance Docket, a partnership between Breaking Media publications Above the Law and Dealbreaker.

Related

Wells Fargo.Insane

Wells Fargo May Finally Get To Spend That Rainy Day Fund

All at once. In the form of some very large checks to the Justice Department and SEC.

Wells Fargo Bless this Mess

Wells Fargo Employees Not Taking Management’s Word For It

If they have to they’ll just fix the whole damned place themselves, and distribute Charlie Scharf’s bonus among them.

Wells Fargo.Insane

You Know It’s Bad When A Judge Says ‘Wells Fargo Committed Fraud’ And That’s Not The Key Issue

You also probably won’t be surprised to see our old friends at FINRA popping up.

Wells Fargo Bless this Mess

Shareholders Of America’s Worst Bank Amply Rewarded For, Uh, Well, We’re Not Sure, Exactly

Charlie Scharf offers bread and circuses to keep the Wells Fargo masses from calling for his head.

deutsche-bank-logo-eyes

Disappointed Regulator Outsources More Of Deutsche Bank’s Anti-Money Laundering To KPMG

It’s almost as if five years of stern warnings and meaningful shakes of the head haven’t gotten through yet.

Wells Fargo.Insane

Wells Fargo Pinned Hopes For Mercy On Racist, Was Disappointed

And it would have worked, too, if not for you meddling SJWs.

Wells Fargo.Insane

Carrie Tolstedt Was Just Following Orders

Everything she said had the sign off from other people, so why are you hassling her?

Wells Fargo.Insane

How Many Accounts Does Wells Fargo Actually Have?

Is anyone willing to vouch for more than a few dozen?