President Trump wants the world to know that he won’t go easy on Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC). He tweeted this morning that not only will the bank face charges, but the penalties it will be required to pay could be increased. The president’s tweet disputes widespread media reports that the Wells Fargo charges could be dropped.
Trump on Wells Fargo charges: they won’t be dropped
In his tweet on the Wells Fargo charges, Trump spoke out against the bank’s “bad acts against their customers and others”:
Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased. I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2017
Earlier this week, it was reported that there was a good chance the Wells Fargo charges would be dropped. The bank had settled with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a fine in the tens of millions of dollars in connection with its mortgage lending practices.
Wells Fargo charges will stand
However, three unnamed officials reportedly told Reuters that CFPB acting director Mick Mulvaney’s review of that settlement could result in the charges being dropped. Mulvaney has promised sweeping reform at the agency and has referred to it as a “joke,” among many other complaints about it. He has been very vocal about his stance against the CFPB, saying that it shouldn’t meddle in business matters. Before he took over as acting director, the agency levied $12 billion in fines and forced financial services firms to provide relief to customers who were wronged, according to Reuters.
One of the Wells Fargo charges involved fees charged to over 100,000 borrowers in exchange for low mortgage rates. The bank has admitted that “a substantial number” of the borrowers were wrongfully charged fees. It also agreed to pay those customers back for the charges. That case was just one of a few scandals that has rocked the bank over the last few years. Last year, Wells Fargo admitted that millions of accounts were wrongfully opened in the names of its customers.
Despite President Trump’s tweet promising that the Wells Fargo charges will still stand, the bank’s stock remained in the green after peaking at $59.92 beforehand and then reversing course.