Wells Fargo inks $37m deal with small and medium-sized businesses over fraudulent fake accounts

Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $37m to settle a class action lawsuit brought by more than a quarter million small and medium-sized business owners over the bank’s illegal creation of consumer and business accounts without their permission.

The bank said the settlement was part of a non-litigation settlement agreement with Merrick Lewis, a lawyer representing over 9,000 business owners who claims they were defrauded by fake accounts created in their names.

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The settlement is separate from the $185m of payments that the bank has paid out so far to resolve an investigation into improper sales practices.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lewis, the lead plaintiff, would receive more than $93,000 in attorney’s fees and up to $925,000 in cash, while two other plaintiffs would receive more than $30,000 each.

Wells Fargo said the lawsuit would not affect its 2018 earnings.

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