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US bank Wells Fargo agrees $110m lawsuit settlement

A man walks past a Wells Fargo branchImage copyright Ben Margot
Image caption America’s biggest bank was fined $185m in September last year over the scandal

US bank Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $110m (£88m) to settle a lawsuit brought by customers who had accounts opened in their name without their permission.

The agreement comes after America’s biggest bank was fined $185m in September last year for illegally opening about two million accounts.

Chief executive John Stumpf resigned in the wake of a scandal.

Tuesday’s settlement has still to be approved by the court.

The class action lawsuit was filed in May 2015 by Shahriar Jabbari and Kaylee Heffelfinger at the district court in Northern District of California.

In a statement, Wells Fargo said the agreement would “consist of all persons who claim that Wells Fargo opened an account in their name without consent, enrolled them in a product or service without consent, or submitted an application for a product or service in their name without consent”.

New president and chief executive Tim Sloan said: “This agreement is another step in our journey to make things right with customers and rebuild trust.”

“We want to ensure that each customer impacted by our sales practices issue has every opportunity for remediation, and this agreement presents an additional option,” he added.

Last September’s fine was imposed on Wells Fargo by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CSFB), following an investigation into the bank’s sales practices.

Its investigation found that to meet sales targets bank staff had “illegally” signed up customers for deposit and credit-card accounts that they did not want or did not know they had.

Wells Fargo said it expected this latest settlement to resolve claims in 11 other pending class action lawsuits.

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