- The Washington Times - Friday, December 8, 2017

President Trump refuted a report Friday that his new head of a federal consumer watchdog plans to withdraw proposed penalties against Wells Fargo bank, saying the fines for the lender actually might be increased.

“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, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!”

Reuters reported Thursday that Mick Mulvaney, the new acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is reviewing whether Wells Fargo should pay tens of millions of dollars over alleged mortgage lending abuse, citing three sources familiar with the dispute.

The San Francisco-based bank has said it would refund homebuyers who were wrongly charged fees to obtain low mortgage rates.

Mr. Mulvaney, who took over the bureau late last month for Obama-era Director Richard Cordray, told The Washington Times last week that he is reviewing more than 100 cases, including 14 open enforcement matters that Mr. Cordray left on his desk.

Mr. Cordray, a Democrat, resigned to run for governor of Ohio and delegated Deputy Director Leandra English as his successor. Mr. Trump installed Mr. Mulvaney as the acting head of the bureau instead, saying a president has the authority to name a replacement.

Ms. English filed suit to claim the post; a federal judge initially sided with the administration and kept Mr. Mulvaney at the helm. The litigation is still pending.

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