Wells Fargo fined for OFAC violations
On March 30, 2023, OFAC announced a settlement with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in which the bank agreed to remit $30,000,000 to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of sanctions against Iran, Syria, and Sudan. For about seven years beginning in 2008 and ending in 2015, Wells Fargo and its predecessor, Wachovia Bank (“Wachovia”), provided a foreign bank located in Europe with software that the foreign bank then used to process trade finance transactions with U.S.-sanctioned jurisdictions and persons. Wachovia, at the direction of a mid-level manager, customized a trade insourcing software platform for general use by the European bank that Wachovia knew or should have known would involve engaging in trade-finance transactions with sanctioned jurisdictions and persons.
In coordination with OFAC's action, the Federal Reserve Board announced it has fined Wells Fargo & Co., of San Francisco, California, $67.8 million for the firm's unsafe or unsound practices relating to historical inadequate oversight of sanctions compliance risks at its subsidiary bank, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo & Co.'s deficient oversight enabled the bank to violate U.S. sanctions regulations by providing a trade finance platform to a foreign bank that used the platform to process approximately $532 million in prohibited transactions between 2010 and 2015.