WASHINGTON — When regulators decided Tuesday to flunk Wells Fargo's resolution plan, it marked the first time a major U.S. bank has been sanctioned for not having a strategy to resolve itself in bankruptcy.

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued a series of letters in April to five banks — Bank of America, BNY Mellon, JPMorgan Chase, State Street and Wells Fargo — whose living wills were judged "not credible" by the agencies in April. Those five banks were given specific instructions on how to improve their plans and were instructed to resubmit the living wills by October 1.

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