Wells Fargo to pay $35 million penalty over excessive fees, U.S. SEC says

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Wells Fargo has agreed to pay a $35 million civil penalty to settle U.S. charges that the company overcharged advisory fees, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Friday.

The SEC said it charged Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network LLC for overcharging more than 10,900 investment advisory accounts more than $26.8 million in advisory fees.

The SEC alleged that Wells Fargo and its predecessor firms overcharged certain clients who opened accounts prior to 2014 for advisory fees through the end of December 2022.

Wells Fargo settled without admitting or denying the charges, the SEC said in a statement. Wells Fargo paid affected account holders about $40 million, including interest, to reimburse them for the overcharging, according to the statement.

Wells said it was pleased to resolve the matter.

“The process that caused this issue was corrected nearly a decade ago. And, as noted in the settlement documents, Wells Fargo Advisors conducted a thorough review of accounts and has fully reimbursed affected customers,” it said.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa and Nupur Anand in New YorkEditing by Susan Heavey and Mark Potter)