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California Bill Takes Aim At Wells Fargo Arbitration

Mike Mozart / Flickr
 

Mike Mozart / Flickr

(AP) - The California Legislature is backing a measure that could require Wells Fargo to go to court over its fake account scandal.

The bill approved Wednesday would prohibit the San Francisco-based bank from relying on contract provisions that require customers to settle disputes through arbitration rather than the courts. The California Chamber of Commerce says the bill is likely pre-empted by federal law and could subject employers to unnecessary lawsuits.

Senators voted 25-13 to send the measure to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa says customers never agreed to mandatory arbitration over accounts that were fraudulently formed. Dodd says arbitrators are often friendly to the bank.

SB33 would not help customers who have already taken their claims to arbitration.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment.

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