Wells Fargo to pay $97 million for sanctions compliance failures

·1 min read
Wells Fargo Bank branch is seen in New York

By Hannah Lang

(Reuters) -Wells Fargo & Co will pay fines of about $97.8 million for inadequate oversight of its compliance risks, enabling the apparent violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Syria and Sudan, federal authorities said on Thursday.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said the bank's deficient oversight enabled it to violate U.S. sanctions by providing a trade finance platform to a foreign bank that used it to process $532 million in prohibited transactions.

The Fed fined Wells Fargo $67.8 million, while OFAC fined the bank $30 million for inadequate oversight of its compliance risks from 2010 to 2015.

“Wells Fargo is pleased to resolve this legacy matter involving conduct that ended in 2015, which we voluntarily self-reported and fully cooperated with OFAC and the Federal Reserve Board to address," a Wells Fargo spokesperson said in a statement.

In a release, OFAC said that Wells Fargo and its predecessor, Wachovia Bank, provided a European bank with software beginning in 2008 that allowed the firm to process 124 transactions involving sanctioned individuals or jurisdictions.

In December, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hit Wells Fargo with the watchdog's largest ever civil penalty as part of a $3.7 billion agreement to settle charges over widespread mismanagement of car loans, mortgages and bank accounts.

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang)