Labor Department launches Wells Fargo review

The Labor Department has launched its own probe into Wells Fargo’s business activities after Senate Democrats wondered if the bank violated wage and labor laws.

Labor Secretary Thomas PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE told lawmakers in a letter Monday that his agency was conducting a “top-to-bottom review” of any complaints or cases the government has received in recent years. Furthermore, the Labor Department has created a website specifically for current and former employees of Wells Fargo encouraging anyone with questions or concerns to reach out.


The Labor review marks the latest in a growing number of government headaches for the bank, which has been the focus of Washington ire since the regulators charged the bank with wrongdoing earlier this month.

Government and local regulators fined the bank $185 million earlier this month after they determined the bank potentially opened millions of accounts to boost sales numbers on behalf of existing clients without their approval.

Thousands of bank employees have been fired as a result of that improper activity, but now some bank critics want to know if any were punished for refusing to go along with the questionable sales tactics.

In a letter sent to Perez earlier this month, eight Democratic senators wanted a government probe into whether bank employees who ended up working nights and weekends to meet sales goals were improperly denied overtime.

Days later, Perez told them his team was going over everything they had on Wells Fargo, including previously closed cases.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Trump officials struggle to get relief loans out the door | Dow soars more than 1600 points | Kudlow says officials 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds Overnight Energy: Trump floats oil tariffs amid Russia-Saudi dispute | Warren knocks EPA over 'highly dangerous' enforcement rollback | 2019 sees big increase in methane levels in air Ex-CFPB director urges agency to 'act immediately' to help consumers during pandemic MORE (D-Mass.), one of the lawmakers pushing for the Labor probe, hailed the department for moving quickly and nudged other regulators to do the same.

“Every other federal agency with jurisdiction in this matter should follow DOL’s lead and promptly determine whether Wells Fargo and its senior executives should be prosecuted or otherwise sanctioned,” she said in a statement.

In addition to the Labor probe, the House Financial Services Committee has said it is conducting its own investigation, including possible interviews with relevant figures or subpoenas for documents.