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Wells Fargo Bank to pay $8.5M in settlement of Calif. privacy case

California Attorney General Kamala Harris and five district attorneysannounced an $8.5 million settlement with WellsFargo Bank NA over accusations of privacy violations, according to March28 news release.

The settlement covered allegations of recording consumers' phonecalls without informing them of the recordings in a timely manner, as required byCalifornia law. Wells Fargo will pay civil penalties totaling approximately $7.6million and reimburse the prosecutors' investigative costs of $384,000 as part ofthe settlement, which is in the form of a stipulated judgment. Furthermore, thebank will contribute $500,000 to two statewide organizations dedicated to advancingconsumer protection and privacy rights.

In addition, pursuant to the settlement agreement, Wells Fargomust comply with California's standards for recording confidential communicationsbetween the bank and its customers. The bank also agreed to implement an internalcompliance program ensuring that the policy changes are made.

The stipulated judgment does not constitute an admission by orfinding against any party regarding the allegations in the complaint.

Wells Fargo &Co. is the ultimate parent of Wells Fargo Bank.