[JURIST] The California Department of Insurance [official website] announced [press release] Wednesday that it has served Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Insurance with an accusation [text, PDF] seeking to suspend or revoke the companies' licenses due to improper insurance sales practices.
An investigation was opened [press release] against Wells Fargo last year after Prudential employees accused Wells Fargo of signing up customers for insurance policies without permission. Customers were told they were applying for a quote but were subsequently signed up for the insurance plans. The accusation claims that 1,469 unauthorized insurance policies were issued to Californians between 2008 and 2016. Of these policies, 1,264 were renters insurance policies which Wells Fargo submitted to American Modern Insurance Group and Assurant for approval, and 205 were term life insurance policies that were submitted to Great-West Financial and Pruco Life Insurance Company.
The accusation states that Wells Fargo has "shown incompetency or untrustworthiness in the conduct of any business." It is seeking the Insurance Commission to suspend or revoke their licenses and licensing rights.
Wells Fargo has faced several lawsuits in recent years due to company practices. In January a lawsuit was filed [JURIST report] against Wells Fargo accusing the company of refusing to extend student loans based solely on immigration status. In September 2016 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced [JURIST report] a $100 million fine against Wells Fargo for opening banking accounts and credit cards for customers without their permission. In May 2013 a $203 million fine was reinstated [JURIST report] against Wells Fargo for misleading customers and charging excessive overdraft fees.