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Howard County is considering its relationship with Wells Fargo.
Howard County is considering its relationship with Wells Fargo. (FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP/Getty Images)

Howard County's finance department is reviewing its ties with Wells Fargo after the bank was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for opening fake accounts.

Stan Milesky, the county's finance director, said the review is a responsible step necessary out of "due diligence." The county has banked with Wells Fargo for about five years.

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The consideration comes as California suspends business with the bank, which is accused of opening up more than half a million credit card accounts and 1.5 million fake checking and savings accounts since 2011 without the permission of customers, in an effort to hit sales targets.

According to the Baltimore Business Journal, Maryland is also reconsidering its ties with the San Francisco bank.

Howard County's contract with the bank was won through a competitive bid. The county uses the bank for banking services, settling investment securities and for revolving fund loans, among other uses.

Milesky said the finance department has not recommended any action to the Howard County Council or the administration.

"At this point, this is simply a consideration," Milesky said.

This story will be updated.

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