US bank regulator admits lax oversight of Wells Fargo – Los Angeles Times

The nation’s top bank regulator knew about problems with Wells Fargo & Co.’s sales practices in 2010 but did not do enough to put an end to the bank’s bad practices, an internal agency review has concluded.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said that its oversight of Wells Fargo was ineffective and that examiners missed numerous opportunities to have the bank address its problems, according to a report released Wednesday. Those problems led to the creation of as many as 2.1 million accounts that customers didn’t authorize.

“The OCC did not take timely and effective supervisory actions after the bank and the OCC together identified significant issues with complaint management and sales practices,” according to the report.

It noted that problems with the bank’s sales practices had been mentioned in OCC reports since at least 2010 and the bank had been was warned about its handling of complaints as early as 2009.

US bank regulator admits lax oversight of Wells Fargo – Los Angeles Times