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January 2, 2019

Media contact: Liz Brocker (701) 328-2213

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota will receive $1.2 million from Wells Fargo Bank under the terms of a national settlement agreement, announced Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. The state's share of the $575 million settlement fund is for civil costs and attorney fees.

The multistate settlement agreement resolves claims that Wells Fargo Bank violated state consumer protection laws by opening millions of unauthorized customer accounts, enrolling customers in online banking services without their consent, improperly referring customers for enrollment in third-party insurance policies, charging insurance fees and premiums without consent, and other fraudulent practices. Wells Fargo has identified more than 3.5 million affected customer accounts.

“Wells Fargo created incentive programs and unrealistic sales goals which provided the opportunity for fraudulent conduct by its employees. This settlement is the most significant action involving a national bank by state attorneys general acting without a federal law enforcement partner. My office will continue to work with attorneys general across the nation to ensure corporate compliance with state consumer fraud laws,” said Stenehjem.

In addition, Wells Fargo has previously agreed to consent orders with the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, agreeing to provide restitution to customers in excess of $600 million through its agreements with those entities and through settlement of a related consumer class-action lawsuit.

As part of its settlement with the states, Wells Fargo must implement a program to provide financial relief for customers who have not previously received restitution. The states’ settlement agreement gives Wells Fargo until February 26, 2019, to create a dedicated website for affected customers to file a request for relief.

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