Craig Johnson, Clark.com
Wells Fargo has been hit with $1 billion in fines due to a number of unsavory banking practices, like charging customers unfair mortgage fees and forcing them into auto insurance.
The penalty was announced Friday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which said that Wells Fargo’s mortgage interest rate-lock extensions along with its mandatory insurance program were gross violations.
Wells Fargo hit with $1 billion fine for mortgage, auto loan abuses
In the consent order, which is posted online, Wells Fargo neither admitted or denied any of the agency’s findings. The bank also vowed to help repair the damage to consumers’ financial lives.
This is not the first time Wells Fargo has drawn scrutiny because of alleged abuses. In February, the bank was sanctioned for “persistent misconduct” toward consumers.
The controversies are enough to make one consider other alternatives to the big banks. Money expert Clark Howard advocates putting your money into credit unions and online banks, which offer better terms. Here are some to consider:
Banking alternatives for your money
Here are two banking alternatives that you should definitely take a look:
- Credit unions: Many credit unions are fee-free and a part of a network. Find out which credit unions you’re eligible to join by visiting CUNA.org.
- Online banks: If you’re comfortable with digital transactions, online banks offer the same amenities you would find at a traditional bank, only lower costs and fewer fees.