Wells Fargo is in the midst of resolving potential OFAC violations

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, Wells Fargo said it has begun resolution discussions with a U.S. authority or authorities over potential sanctions violations it voluntarily self-disclosed to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The bank's first-quarter report to the Securities and Exchange Commission included the update. Wells Fargo first informed OFAC of the potential violations in its second-quarter report for 2017, and stated that it was cooperating with a Department of Justice investigation.


"The company … has been cooperating with investigations or inquiries arising out of this matter by federal government agencies,” Wells Fargo stated in Tuesday’s filing. “The company is in resolution discussions with certain of these agencies, although there can be no assurance as to the outcome of these discussions. "



The bank did not say which regulator it is talking to about a possible settlement. Requests for comment from OFAC and the Justice Department were not immediately returned.


The problem was traced back to a Wells Fargo software-based solution that foreign banks used to conduct import/export trade-related financing transactions with OFAC-designated countries and entities.


Since first disclosing the matter in 2017, Wells Fargo has stated, we do not believe any funds related to these transactions flowed through accounts at Wells Fargo as a result of the aforementioned conduct."


Wells Fargo did not provide any additional information.


Resolutions involving OFAC and other agencies, such as the Justice Department, are not uncommon. After admitting to violating sanctions against Iran when Iranian-based users paid to download SAP software, upgrades, and patches, SAP SE agreed to pay more than $8 million in combined penalties issued by the Justice Department, the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, and OFAC in April 2021.

By fLEXI tEAM