News Release 2021-96 | September 10, 2021
OCC to Hold Hearing on Charges Against Former Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Executives; Agency Seeks Prohibition Order, Orders to Cease and Desist, and Civil Money Penalties
WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced a public hearing before an Administrative Law Judge beginning Monday, September 13, 2021, in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The OCC will litigate enforcement actions against Claudia Russ Anderson, former Community Bank Group Risk Officer, David Julian, former Chief Auditor, and Paul McLinko, former Executive Audit Director of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Sioux Falls, S.D. This hearing represents the culmination of the OCC’s longstanding efforts to hold these individuals accountable for material failures in risk management and for consumer harm.
The OCC’s notice of charges alleges Ms. Russ Anderson, Mr. Julian, and Mr. McLinko failed to adequately perform their duties and responsibilities, which contributed to Wells Fargo’s systemic sales practices misconduct problem that lasted until October 2016. Wells Fargo’s Community Bank leadership caused the sales practices misconduct problem by setting unreasonable sales goals, placing severe pressure on employees to meet those goals, and maintaining deficient controls to prevent and detect the misconduct. The failures of these three individuals allowed sales practices misconduct to continue for years, affecting millions of bank customers, and thousands of bank employees. Additionally, the OCC alleges that Ms. Russ Anderson made false and misleading statements to the OCC and obstructed the OCC's examinations of Wells Fargo’s sales practices misconduct.
The OCC is seeking an order of prohibition that would bar Ms. Russ Anderson from further participation in the conduct of the affairs of any insured depository institution. The OCC is seeking personal cease and desist orders against Mr. Julian and Mr. McLinko that would require them to take certain affirmative actions or refrain from certain conduct in any future involvement in the banking industry.
As indicated on page 2 in the notice of charges, the OCC is also seeking civil money penalties against each individual in amounts ”consistent with the law and evidence presented during the proceedings.”
The hearing will commence at 8:30 a.m. Central Time on Monday, September 13, 2021, in the Schulte Theater, Washington Pavilion, 301 South Main Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. The hearing will continue each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. Central Time, September 13 - 17, 2021, and September 20 – 24, and is expected to resume at 8:30 a.m. Central Time, November 8 – 12, 2021, and November 15 – 18, 2021, as needed.
Proceedings will be conducted consistent with CDC COVID-19 protocols, and capacity in the hearing room will be limited. Details about how to view the proceedings online and listen by telephone are available here.
Public filings in this case are available in at the OCC’s FOIA Reading Room.