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Wells Fargo says U.S. consumer watchdog has opened new probe on mishandling of accounts

WASHINGTON, May 6 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo and Co. is facing a new probe from the U.S. consumer watchdog over how it disclosed and assessed monthly fees on certain consumer bank accounts in 2016, the bank disclosed in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is “investigating certain of the Company’s past disclosures to customers regarding the minimum qualifying debit card usage required for customers to receive a waiver of monthly service fees on certain consumer deposit accounts,” the bank said.

The CFPB declined to comment. Wells Fargo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The probe is the latest regulatory hurdle for the San Francisco-based lender, which has been mired in scandal related to unauthorized product sales since it revealed here in 2016 that it had opened potentially millions of depository and credit card accounts without clients' permission.

Since then, issues have cropped up in each of Wells Fargo’s primary business segments, including with respect to mortgages, insurance and identity theft protection products.

The bank has been working to correct the issues and to enhance its risk management, and has committed to compensating here all affected customers.

The CFPB had already been investigating whether Wells Fargo had previously harmed customers with its practice of freezing and closing accounts when it suspected fraudulent activity.

In its latest filing, Wells Fargo reported that losses from all potential pending litigation related to its sales scandals as of March 31 could be as high as $2.6 billion, up from $2.4 billion at the end of last year. (Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Michelle Price; Editing by Dan Grebler)