A new report shows the scandal-plagued bank is reviewing a whole new batch of possible add-on problems.
Wells Fargo pet insurance is among the latest add-ons linked with the bank’s rash of scandals. Thousands of the bank’s customers have been paying for insurance coverage they didn’t need or were overpaying for the coverage they did require.
The bank is still coping with having mis-sold auto insurance to more than half a million drivers.
More recently, the San Francisco-based lender has been looking at financial and insurance add-ons. What they have determined was that Wells Fargo pet insurance and legal services were charged to customers who either did not understand what they were buying, or who clearly did not know how to use their product, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The W.S.J. cited a number of people familiar with the matter who agreed to speak under the condition of anonymity.
This latest Wells Fargo insurance scandal is only the latest in several similar events. The largest involved selling unnecessary insurance to half a million auto loan customers, causing thousands to become unable to make their loan payments, harming their credit scores. Approximately 25,000 had their vehicles repossessed. The bank was also discovered to have opened more than 3 million accounts in the name of customers who had no knowledge and did not give their approval.
Refunds are now being issued for Wells Fargo pet insurance and other add-on products.
Several add-on insurance and financial products are under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Wells Fargo has already been fined a total of about $1 billion by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Comptroller of the Currency.
This latest probe is examining the selling strategies used for more add-on products. It will determine whether or not Wells Fargo customers were the victims of deception, if they knew they were purchasing the products for which they have been charged, and if they were provided with the ability to cancel those products if they were no longer wanted and needed.
Furthermore, beyond the Wells Fargo pet insurance refunds and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s investigation, the bank itself is “reviewing add-on products sold to consumers by the bank or its service providers and if issues are found during this review, we will make things right with customers in the form of refunds or remediation,” said Catherine Pulley, a spokesperson for the bank.