The U.S Department of Justice has signaled that it will scrutinize banks' participation in emergency lending programs meant to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic in its search for coronavirus-related fraud.

Wells Fargo said that it is the subject of both federal and state government investigations into how it has administered loans for the federal Paycheck Protection Program, an emergency initiative created in response to the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Wells Fargo has reached a settlement to end a years-long lawsuit accusing the bank of misrepresenting its financial status to access funds from federal emergency programs during the 2008 financial crisis.

Wells Fargo said Monday that the government rated its community lending practices “outstanding” in a sign that the bank is beginning to emerge from the fallout from its fake accounts scandal, which caused the bank’s rating to be downgraded in 2017.

Major mortgage lender Wells Fargo on Thursday became the latest big bank to put a temporary halt on new home equity loan applications as banks seek to tighten up their lending practices in preparation for a wave of defaults stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy.

Wells Fargo -- once a leading lender to the National Rifle Association -- said it is backing away from the firearms organization.

Deutsche Bank said Sunday that it will miss its capital targets as it escalates lending to businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, but Germany’s largest lender still sought to reassure investors ahead of its official earnings release that the dip in capital buffer would be temporary.

Sen. Macro Rubio, R-Fla., fired off letters Thursday to 12 major banks, including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America, asking whether they had prioritized certain applicants for emergency small business loans in violation of the government-backed loan program’s requirement that loans be serviced on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ten major banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, were slapped with a class-action lawsuit Tuesday accusing them of costing retail investors billions by conspiring to manipulate the spreads between the buying and selling prices of U.S. corporate bonds.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch to repay investors for mutual fund fees that it collected without properly disclosing conflicts of interest in the final enforcement action issued under a voluntary reporting program that has seen 95 financial advisors shell out $139 million in refunded fees.

Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America were hit with lawsuits Sunday on behalf of small businesses who could not obtain loans under an emergency program designed to address the economic fallout from COVID-19 that allege the banks impermissibly gave priority to borrowers of larger loan amounts in order to generate bigger origination fees.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. suspended applications for home equity loans as it and mortgage industry peers figure out how to respond to the coronavirus economic downturn.

The country's largest banks have shown an alarming drop off in their first-quarter earnings, as they set aside billions for expected loan losses. But the two bright spots so far have been custody banking giants, Bank of New York Mellon and State Street, who both boasted increased first-quarter earnings.

While major U.S. banks are amassing reserves to serve as cushions for the coronavirus economic downturn, executives are declaring confidently that they can continue to pay out dividends, at least for now.

Bank of America saw its first-quarter profits take a hit due to a $3.6 billion increase in loan-loss reserves to counter the economic effects of COVID-19, the bank said Wednesday.

Wells Fargo's profit plummeted to 1 cent per share in the first quarter as the bank braced for credit losses from the coronavirus outbreak, the bank said Tuesday.

Wells Fargo is cutting the fee and lowering the minimum requirement on its robo advisor, the bank said Monday.

The nation’s biggest banks were required to submit their responses Monday to the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests evaluating their resiliency in a hypothetical severe recession, but an official at the central bank recently said regulators would take the actual fallout from the coronavirus pandemic into account when assessing the banks’ health.