Wells Fargo Advisors fined $7 million in SEC anti-money laundering probe on accusation it didn’t file timely reports

Wells Fargo Advisors, a subsidiary of banking large Wells Fargo & Organization, has agreed to shell out $7 million to settle charges that it violated federal anti-money laundering statutes by failing to file suspicious action experiences, the U.S. Securities and Trade Commission announced Friday.

In accordance to the accusations outlined in an SEC launch, the subsidiary unsuccessful to correctly put into practice a new edition of its inner anti-dollars laundering, or AML, monitoring and alert procedure it adopted in January 2019. As a outcome, it unsuccessful to timely file at minimum 25 suspicious action reports, some as just lately as October 2021, associated to wire transfers to or from international nations around the world considered at chance of facilitating “funds laundering, terrorist financing, or other unlawful funds movements,” the SEC stated.

Wells Fargo Advisors also failed to file at least nine other suspicious activity reports starting off in April 2017 right after it allegedly failed to properly approach wire transfer information, the SEC said.

“When SEC registrants like Wells Fargo Advisors fail to comply with their AML obligations, they put the investing community at hazard because they deprive regulators of well timed info about feasible funds laundering, terrorist funding, or other illegal money movements,” Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, reported in a assertion. “Through this enforcement motion, we are not only keeping Wells Fargo Advisors accountable, but also sending a loud and clear information to other registrants that AML obligations are sacrosanct.”

In a assertion, the business stated: “At Wells Fargo Advisors, we just take regulatory tasks very seriously. This issue refers to legacy issues that impacted a transaction checking procedure and the challenges ended up fixed promptly upon discovery.”

In addition to the $7 million penalty, Wells Fargo Advisors, with no admitting or denying the SEC’s results, agreed to a censure and a cease and desist get.

The latest charge provides to the bank’s latest historical past of alleged improprieties. Wells Fargo agreed to pay a overall of $185 million in fines in 2016 immediately after it was uncovered to have opened additional than 1.5 million checking and savings accounts, as very well as 500,000 credit card accounts, without having customers’ consent. That scandal led to the ouster of previous CEO John Stumpf, as very well as his successor, Tim Sloan.

In 2019, The Wall Street Journal wrote of Wells Fargo: “Just about each individual a single of its organization lines is underneath investigation by a authorities company, such as the Justice Section and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

This week, Wells Fargo was the topic of a New York Moments investigation that uncovered it was conducting occupation interviews to fulfill diversity employing quotas, even when the position had currently been available to one more prospect. A Wells Fargo agent told the newspaper: “To the extent that person staff members are engaging in the actions as described by The New York Instances, we do not tolerate it.”