Wells Fargo & Co. is under investigation by regulators in California and New Jersey to determine whether the bank signed up customers for Prudential Financial Inc. life policies without their permission.
The announcements Monday by regulators followed fraud and misconductallegations raised last week in a whistle-blower lawsuit claiming the insurer covered up an internal inquiry that found San Francisco-based Wells Fargo may have fraudulently opened Prudential’s low-cost MyTerm policies. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said that his department will work with New Jersey watchdogs to examine “all aspects” of the allegations, and that Prudential’s practices will be investigated as well.
“We’ll be looking at whether there were any licensing violations associated with” Wells Fargo’s sales, Jones said Monday in a phone interview. “We’ll also be looking at whether they violated the law by allegedly signing people up for insurance without their permission.”