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Wells Fargo fined $4M over loan servicing

Wells Fargo & Co. will pay $3.6 million to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and $410,000 in restitution to settle the regulator’s claims over student-loan servicing policies that it says boosted costs for borrowers.

Thousands of student loan borrowers encountered problems with their loans or received misinformation about their payment options because of breakdowns in Wells Fargo’s servicing process, the bureau said in a statement Monday.

“Wells Fargo hit borrowers with illegal fees and deprived others of critical information needed to effectively manage their student loan accounts,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in the statement. “Consumers should be able to rely on their servicer to process and credit payments correctly and to provide accurate and timely information and we will continue our work to improve the student loan servicing market.”

SolarCity firing 108 workers amid cost cuts

SolarCity Corp., the rooftop solar company that agreed this month to be acquired by Tesla Motors Inc., is firing 108 workers at two offices in California.

The company said it’s eliminating 28 positions in San Francisco and 80 at its office in San Mateo, according to filings with the state Employment Development Department. The company notified the state Aug. 19, and the filings were provided to Bloomberg News on Thursday.

The move follows an announcement Aug. 17 that the company plans to “realign” its operations as it plans for slower growth this year.

Shakeout looms for China’s EV industry

China’s electric-vehicle industry, with 200-plus companies backed by a raft of billionaires, verges on a massive shakeout as the government imposes stricter technology standards on fledgling manufacturers and considers limiting their number to only 10.

Any curbs would be aimed at weeding out the weak, said a senior executive with the state-backed auto manufacturers association, and they could push as many as 90 percent of EV startups toward extinction, a government-linked newspaper said. So far, only two ventures have obtained approval to build cars, based on a review of National Development and Reform Commission documents. Three others say they plan to apply for permits.

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