The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) of failing to produce documents relating to an investigation of the bank's mortgage-backed securities.
The SEC filed a subpoena enforcement action in federal court on Friday, seeking to force Wells to comply with subpoenas dating back to September 2011.
Wells Fargo spokesman Ancel Martinez on Friday called the SEC's action "inappropriate and unwarranted" and said the bank "will vigorously defend itself in court."
Regulators have been investigating Wells Fargo's disclosures about the mortgages that it securitized and sold to investors between September 2006 and early 2008. The probe involves almost $60 billion worth of residential mortgage-backed securities that Wells sold to investors.
The SEC said it is investigating whether Wells Fargo "made material misrepresentations or omitted material facts" about whether the loans in those securities complied with the bank's underwriting standards.
The San Francisco bank had agreed to provide the documents about its due diligence and underwriting policies but has failed to do so, the SEC said in a press release on Friday.
Well spokesman Martinez retorted that the bank has "extensively cooperated in the commission's investigation and believed it had an understanding with the SEC staff with regard to the outstanding document request. The filing of this action violates that understanding. … Well Fargo is also confident that the SEC staff has inaccurately described our conduct with regard to residential mortgage backed securities and that no enforcement action is warranted."
The SEC filed its enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.