May 3, 2019 / 7:16 PM / 2 months ago

Wells Fargo expects to refund monthly service fees to some customers

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co said on Friday it expects to refund some servicing fees to customers who may have been confused about how to avoid monthly charges.

FILE PHOTO: A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

The San Francisco-based bank said in a securities filing it was reviewing past disclosures to consumers about mininum debit card activity requirements to waive certain monthly fees.

Roughly 90 percent of customers successfully avoid paying servicing fees on checking accounts by meeting certain requirements, said Wells Fargo spokesman Jim Seitz.

Consumers can get waivers for the monthly fee by connecting a qualifying direct deposit or keeping the a minimum daily balance among other things.

The bank has made changes to address guidelines for how to get a waiver through debit card use that had the potential to be confusing.

“We have made improvements in how we communicate all of the ways customers qualify for a monthly service fee waiver, and how they can track their progress,” Seitz said. “It’s the right thing to do for our customers.”

The disclosure adds to the long list of remediation efforts going on at the fourth-largest U.S. bank by assets after a string of admissions that it may have improperly charged customers for various financial products.

The bank became mired in scandal in 2016 when it revealed it had opened potentially millions of unauthorized accounts. Since then, issues have cropped up in each of Wells Fargo’s primary business segments.

Wells Fargo has said it is committed to compensating all customers affected by its actions and has already paid out tens of millions of dollars to make consumers whole.

In the same filing the company also raised the high end of potential losses in excess of the company’s accrual to $3.1 billion, up from $2.7 billion at the end of last year.

Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and David Gregorio

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