Fifth Third opened fake accounts like Wells Fargo, government says

Feds file lawsuit against Cincinnati-based bank

NEW YORK — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against Fifth Third Bank, alleging the bank's employees opened fake accounts for customers in order to meet aggressive sales targets.

Continue Reading Below

The federal regulator alleged Monday that the bank knew its employees were opening fake accounts since at least 2008 and up until 2016, the same year that Wells Fargo admitted its own employees had opened fake accounts to meet aggressive sales goals. Wells Fargo was forced to pay billions of dollars in fines and penalties for its bad behavior.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FITBFIFTH THIRD BANCORP17.15-0.17-0.98%
WFCWELLS FARGO & COMPANY30.28-0.62-2.01%

WELLS FARGO AGREES TO $3B SETTLEMENT IN FAKE ACCOUNTS CASE

The CFPB alleges that some of the fake Fifth Third accounts were actually funded, meaning bank employees moved money from a customer's existing account to their new one, without their consent. Fifth Third's sales program required the accounts to be funded, so once the employee was credited for the sale, the money was moved back.

However, moving money without a customer's consent is a violation of the Truth in Savings Act.

Fifth Third Bank Center, as photographed from the Carew Tower observatory deck in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 22, 2017. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

In a statement, Cincinnati-based Fifth Third said the CFPB's lawsuit was unnecessary. The bank said it had already investigated the allegations and found 1,100 accounts were opened fraudulently out of 10 million existing accounts and the amount of financial damage caused by these employees was less than $30,000.

“When a federal court examines the evidence, we believe it will agree with Fifth Third that this is a limited and historical event,” said Susan Zaunbrecher, chief legal officer of the bank, in a statement.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS