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By now, most have read about the consent orders issued by the CFPB and the OCC concerning Wells Fargo. The consent orders ordered the bank to pay a total of $185 million in civil monetary penalties ($100 million to the CFPB, $50 million to the OCC, and $35 million to the City and County of Los Angeles), as well as reimbursing customers an estimated $5 million. The CFPB alleged that Wells Fargo employees, in an effort to boost sales figures and earn bonuses: (a) opened deposit and credit card accounts without customer consent; (b) moved funds from authorized accounts to the new deposit accounts without customer consent; (c) enrolled customers in online banking services they did not request; and (d) ordered and activated debit cards business customer information again, without customer consent. The consent orders shine a giant spotlight on the problems that can occur when employees are provided incentive compensation without adequate compliance management systems in place to ensure bad things don’t happen. The CFPB is quick to say they do not prohibit incentive compensation but do advise that “companies need to pay very close attention to make sure they have effective monitoring in place to ensure that consumers are protected.” Prepared Remarks of Richard Cordray (Sept. 8, 2016).
As with many of the Consent Orders issued by the CFPB and other federal regulators, the Consent Orders issued as to Wells Fargo are an excellent starting point for others in the financial industry to begin in assessing whether their own compliance management systems regarding incentive compensation are adequate.
Here are our Takeaways:
Caren Enloe is a partner who concentrates her practice in consumer financial services litigation and compliance, bankruptcy, and commercial litigation with an emphasis on creditor’s rights. She has a deep understanding of the complex compliance environment surrounding the financial services industry and regularly advises financial service companies on licensing and compliance issues involving state and federal consumer protection and finance statutes. Caren is the author of a daily blog titled: Consumer Financial Services Litigation and Compliance where she posts timely and informative updates regarding the CFPB, FTC, and a host of topical litigation issues involving consumer protection law....LEARN MORE