President Trump vows to punish third-largest U.S. bank with higher fines

Newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist at the conclusion of his inaugural address during ceremonies swearing him in as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. President Donald Trump warned the third-largest U.S. bank Wells Fargo on Friday that fines against the bank could be increased in an ongoing investigation.

“Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported,” Trump tweeted.

Reuters reported Thursday that Mick Mulvaney, the new acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), was reviewing whether Wells Fargo should pay tens of millions of dollars over alleged mortgage lending abuse.

The Republican President pledged to roll back regulations put in place by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. The hope of deregulation was raised when Mulvaney, who accused the CFPB of “trampling on capitalism,” was picked to lead the CFPB on a temporary basis.

In October, Wells Fargo said some mortgage borrowers were inappropriately charged for missing a deadline to lock in promised interest rates, even though the delays were the bank’s fault.

Besides the mortgage issues, the bank also admitted last September that 2 million potentially unauthorized checking and credit card accounts were opened by bank employees who faked customer signatures.

“I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!” Trump wrote.