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EXCLUSIVE-U.S. consumer watchdog seeks record fine against Wells Fargo for abuses -sources

abuses -sources@

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. consumer watchdog is seeking a record fine against Wells Fargo & Co for auto insurance and mortgage lending abuses that could exceed several hundred million dollars, according to three sources with knowledge of the plans.

The penalty would be the first issued by Mick Mulvaney, who U.S. President Donald Trump tapped in November to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The fine would fulfill the president's vow to hit the country's third-largest lender hard.

Mulvaney is eyeing a penalty that would dwarf the $100 million the CFPB fined Wells Fargo in September 2016 to settle its phony accounts scandal, said two sources familiar with the talks. That 2016 fine had been the CFPB's largest ever.

Settlement terms have not been finalized but Mulvaney is pushing for a figure as high as $1 billion, said two people with knowledge of the discussions.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Wells Fargo declined to comment. A spokesman for the CFPB did not respond to a request for comment. (Reporting By Patrick Rucker; Editing by Michelle Price and Meredith Mazzilli)