Wells Fargo has asked a U.S. court to order dozens of customers who are suing the bank over the opening of unauthorized accounts to resolve their disputes in private arbitrations instead of court, according to legal documents.
Reuters reports that the motion, filed in the U.S. District Court in Utah on Wednesday, is in response to the first class action lawsuit filed against Wells since it agreed to pay $185m in penalties and $5m to customers for opening up to 2 million deposit and credit-card accounts in their names without their permission.
The scandal has shaken Wells. Its former Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf stepped down amid the furore, it has been put under tougher regulatory scrutiny and its reputation has been damaged as it faces multiple probes.
The move to enforce the mandatory arbitration clauses comes as Wells Fargo has launched an advertising campaign to win back customer loyalty in the wake of the scandal.
"We are saddened that despite Wells Fargo's commercials and promises to make things right, Wells Fargo is choosing to harm their customers once more," said Zane Christensen, the plaintiffs' lawyer in Sandy, Utah, in a statement.
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