Wells Fargo's huge fine: inside the numbers

Brady Porche
Managing Editor
Personal finance journalist with an eye for industry news


Wells Fargo made headlines this week when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) levied its largest-ever fine against the bank for secretly opening some 2 million unauthorized accounts for its customers between 2011 and 2015.

Here’s a look at the scandal, by the numbers:

$185 million The amount Wells Fargo will pay in fines, including $100 million to the CFPB, $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles. 

5,300 The number of employees fired by Wells Fargo since 2011 for creating phony accounts for existing customers in order to meet sales quotas. In a 2015 lawsuit, Wells Fargo was accused of driving its bankers to commit fraud by imposing unrealistic sales goals. The bank has approximately 265,000 employees worldwide.

2 million The number of fraudulent accounts opened by Wells Fargo employees, including 1.5 million deposit accounts and more than 500,000 credit card accounts.

$2 million Total fees charged to 85,000 of the phony deposit accounts. They included overdraft fees, service charges and other fees.

$400,000 Total fees charged to 14,000 of the unauthorized credit card accounts. These included annual fees, interest charges and overdraft protection fees.

$24 The average amount charged to customers whose phony accounts had fees.

0.02 percent The portion of revenue Wells Fargo makes from deposit account service charges, card fees and other fees represented by the $2.4 million it earned from the phony accounts.

$5 million The amount Wells Fargo is required to refund affected customers.

$23 billion Wells Fargo’s profits in 2015.

Wells Fargo has issued a statement of regret, and says it has instituted changes, including sending an automated confirmation email to consumers any time an account is opened.

 Wells Fargo fake account scandal, 
by the numbers

See related: First National Bank of Omaha refunds $27.75 million for add-ons 

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Updated: 01-23-2019