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Illinois suspends $30 billion business with Wells Fargo

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Staff Writer | October 3, 2016
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said that his office is suspending its annual $30 billion in investment activity with Wells Fargo for at least one year.
Michael Frerichs
Banking   Wells Fargo lost a big client
The office oversees more than $1 trillion in annual investment activity, Frerichs says, and Wells Fargo stands to lose "millions of dollars" in investment fees from the action.

Bank personnel improperly opened credit and debit cards as well as deposit and online accounts without the knowledge of their customers between 2011 and 2015. During this five-year period, the company extracted millions of dollars in fraudulent fees and damaged credit records, forcing some customers to pay higher interest rates on loans.

Further, the bank has agreed to pay fines for improperly repossessing more than 400 vehicles from activity duty military personnel between 2008 and 2015.

“We have a choice where we invest taxpayer money. We will not reward companies that irresponsibly open new bank accounts and improperly repossess vehicles of members of our armed forces,” Frerichs said.

“We also must determine if inactive bank accounts were involved. If so, there might be a violation of the state’s unclaimed property act similar to recent issues with unpaid life insurance policies and uncashed rebate checks.”