What’s behind OCC’s public rebuke of Wells Fargo?
By Kate Berry
The heightened scrutiny surrounding Wells Fargo is setting a new precedent for the willingness of regulators to publicly bash a big bank under their watch. Traditionally, the federal banking agencies are extremely cautious to even name specific banks, concerned the attention could lead to deposit outflows or other fallout. But the regulators — most notably the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — appear to be taking a different tack with Wells, feeding statements to the press that do little to hide their frustration with the megabank. …Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, noted the recent regulatory statements are out of character and bring some risk with them. “Federal regulators are generally very reluctant to speak with any specificity about any case or individual institution,” she said. “I think the back-and-forth over Wells Fargo increases political risk for the agencies with regard to the effectiveness of their enforcement efforts.”