Wells Fargo paying $5M to end gender bias inquiry

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government says it has reached a $5 million settlement with Wells Fargo to resolve allegations it discriminated against pregnant women, new mothers and women on maternity leave.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says Wells Fargo's home mortgage unit refused to make loans available to some women based on their gender or family status, and forced some women to give up their maternity leave and go back to work before it would close a loan with them.

Wells Fargo & Co. says it is settling to avoid a legal battle. It says the agency found no violations of any laws.

The company will distribute $165,000 to six families. It will also set aside at least $3.5 million to compensate other applicants who were discriminated against.