Racial Discrimination in Lending and Banking


Wells Fargo paid $175 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for mortgages issued between 2004 and 2009 that discriminated against more than 34,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers.

Thousands of Minority homebuyers were pushed into expensive subprime loans funded by Wells Fargo despite qualifying for less risky mortgages. Another 30,000 minority borrowers paid higher fees and costs for their mortgages simply because of their race.

The city of Sacramento accused Wells Fargo of “refusing to extend credit to minority borrowers” who wanted to refinance their more expensive mortgages. Wells Fargo also resolved a lawsuit filed by the city of Baltimore in 2008 alleging the bank engaged in “reverse redlining,” or intentionally targeting minority communities for predatory mortgage loans, leading to high foreclosures in minority neighborhoods.

A 2017 lawsuit alleges Wells Fargo instructed employees to “round up” immigrants in the country illegally, corral them into a branch office, and get them to open bank accounts and other products they were not made aware of.