The U.S. District Court of Northern California issued a court order on July 8 granting preliminary approval of the class-action agreement for the improper retail sales practices lawsuit that was announced in March and expanded in April (Jabbari v. Wells Fargo, N.A., et al.).
The agreement, which is subject to final court approval, will set aside $142 million for customer remediation and settlement expenses. Wells Fargo and the plaintiffs will begin to issue notices within the next three months to current and former customers providing information about the process for making claims.
“This preliminary approval is a major milestone in our efforts to make things right for our customers,” said CEO Tim Sloan. “It further ensures each customer impacted by an improper retail sales practice has every opportunity for remediation. This is in addition to our direct efforts to review accounts and provide remediation. These efforts are fundamental to restoring trust with all our stakeholders and building a better Wells Fargo for the future.”
Wells Fargo expects this settlement will resolve substantially all claims in 10 other pending class actions that allege unauthorized accounts were opened in customers’ names, or that customers were enrolled in products or services without their consent.
Customers do not need to take any action at this time to be included in the class subject to this agreement; however, as always, customers are encouraged to contact Wells Fargo at 1-877-924-8697 or visit a branch to discuss any account issues.
Wells Fargo is continuing its efforts to make things right for customers and build a better bank since the settlements related to improper sales practices were announced in September 2016. Since then, the company has reached out to 40 million retail and 3 million small-business customers and refunded $3.26 million to customers, covering May 2011-mid-2015. Wells Fargo has also provided $1.8 million in additional payments to customers nationwide, from Sept. 8, 2016, to May 31, 2017, through an ongoing complaints process and free mediation services.
The company is conducting a voluntary review of accounts from 2009 to 2010 to determine possible unauthorized accounts and associated harm. Wells Fargo expects to complete this process and commence remaining remediation by the end of the third quarter 2017.