Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Wells Fargo is one of the nation’s largest financial services institutions, providing banking, mortgage, investing, credit card, personal, small business, and commercial financial services.
On the mortgage side of the business, Wells Fargo finished the third quarter of 2021 ranked as the 4th largest mortgage lender in the country by volume. The company originated $51.9 billion worth of mortgages in the third quarter of 2021, down slightly from the $53.2 billion it recorded in the second quarter. Its nine-month total of $156.9 billion (including all channels) ranked behind Rocket Mortgage, PennyMac, and United Wholesale Mortgage. In the retail category specifically, Wells Fargo is the second-highest originator in the country.
Wells Fargo had spent years as the largest retail mortgage lender in the country until it was surpassed by Rocket Mortgage (then Quicken Loans) late in 2017.
Wells Fargo is led by chief executive officer Charlie Scharf, who took on the role in 2019, following the company’s wide-ranging sales practices scandal that first came about in 2016. Since that year, Wells Fargo has paid out close to $4 billion in fines and penalties for sales practices that encouraged employees to allegedly open millions of unauthorized bank accounts.
In September 2021, Wells Fargo received a $250 million civil money penalty by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for “unsafe or unsound practices” related to its home lending loss mitigation program.
Earlier in the year, Wells Fargo also agreed to pay $95.7 million to settle an LO comp class-action lawsuit that was brought forward by 5,377 loan officers and mortgage employees that worked at the institution between 2013 and 2019. The argument centered around wage violations in California, alleging that Wells Fargo didn’t compensate mortgage professionals for non-sales work, clawed back vacation pay from commissions, and did not pay overtime wages as required by laws.
Mortgage businesses at Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are now only a fraction of what they were in 2022.