U.S. banking regulators fined Wells Fargo & Co. almost US$100 million for historical supervisory lapses that allowed violations of U.S. financial sanctions against Iran, Syria and Sudan to occur.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board fined the San Francisco–based bank US$67.8 million for inadequate oversight of sanctions risk at its subsidiary Wells Fargo Bank N.A.
In a release, the Fed said the “deficient oversight enabled the bank to violate U.S. sanctions regulations by providing a trade finance platform to a foreign bank that used the platform to process approximately US$532 million in prohibited transactions between 2010 and 2015.”
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also imposed its own US$30-million penalty as part of a settlement with the bank for the misconduct that, it said, involved Wachovia Bank, which Wells Fargo acquired in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
“Wachovia, at the direction of a mid-level manager, customized a trade insourcing software platform for general use by [a] European bank that Wachovia knew or should have known would involve engaging in trade-finance transactions with sanctioned jurisdictions and persons,” the Treasury Department said.
According to the Fed, the bank discovered the issue in 2015 and self-reported to regulators. It also fixed the issue voluntarily and cooperated with the regulators’ investigations.