U.S. regulator sees no evidence of Wells Fargo sales problem at other banks

September 12, 2016 5:00 PM EDT

A Wells Fargo branch is seen in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young


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By Dan Freed

(Reuters) - There is probably no broader problem in the U.S. banking industry over abusive sales practices, despite the penalties imposed on Wells Fargo & Co's recently, the head of a federal consumer protection agency said on Monday.

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), said during an interview on CNBC that he does not see problems similar to those discovered at Wells Fargo occurring "on any kind of systematic basis at any other bank."

The CFPB and two other regulators fined Wells Fargo a total of $185 million last Thursday. The bank paid another $5 million to customers for creating more than two million fake accounts for products like credit and debit cards to meet aggressive sales targets.

The enforcement action caught the attention of U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who on Friday applauded Cordray's agency, censuring Wells Fargo for what she called "outrageous behavior."

On Monday, five lawmakers wrote a letter to U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby calling for an investigation. Credit rating agency, Moody's Investors Service also commented, saying the "embarrassing episode" would have a negative impact on Wells Fargo's outstanding debt.

Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees who were involved in sales practices described by the settlement.

(Reporting by Dan Freed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Lauren Tara LaCapra)



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