Lessons from Wells Fargo

Greetings from your faithful blogger, who is back from a trip to Riverhead, Long Island where he helped celebrate the 50th birthday for a friend he’s known for more than 30 years now. He’s getting old!

After plenty of time to review the latest news on the train ride home, I wanted to talk a little bit about the much publicized fine imposed on Wells Fargo by the OCC and the CFPB. By the way, you know your compliance department is really screwing up when even Mick Mulvaney’s CFPB wants to publicize the fact that they’re fining you.

If we learned anything over the last ten years, it is that all too often the big banks go through the car wash with the windows down and it’s credit unions and small community banks that end up getting soaked. If you’re in charge of compliance at your credit union, the finings against Wells that should concern you are not just its already well publicized practice of adding gap insurance to car loans without even bothering to tell the borrower, but rather a more subtle and frankly legally ambiguous fine for its treatment of rate locks.

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