Ouch! These 10 companies paid the biggest corporate fines in 2018

Ouch! These 10 companies paid the biggest corporate fines in 2018
[Photo: Pepi Stojanovski/Unsplash]

When it comes to corporations behaving badly, banks are number one—and number two and three, as well. According to a new report by Zippia, 7 out of the top 10 companies that paid the biggest fines last year were all banks.

Here are the companies that paid the most fines last year, according to the report:

  1. Royal Bank of Scotland ($4,900,750,000) [Thanks, housing bubble!]
  2. Wells Fargo ($3,122,608,441) [Mortgage-backed securities!]
  3. Barclays ($2,000,000,000) [Don’t try to unmask whistleblowers]
  4. ZTE ($1,400,000,000) [Sanctions violations]
  5. Societe Generale ($1,329,126,916) [More sanctions violations]
  6. HSBC ($866,600,000) [Money laundering!]
  7. AmerisourceBergen ($625,000,000) [Fraud and kickbacks]
  8. U.S. Bancorp ($617,400,000) [Money laundering]
  9. Verizon Communications ($614,300,000) [It’s complicated]
  10. Citigroup ($475,797,475) [Unauthorized trading]

To make this assessment, Zippia relied on data from Good Jobs First Violation Tracker, a national search engine focused on corporate misconduct, created by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. Their database tracks fines in areas like banking, consumer protection, false claims, environmental, wage and hour, unfair labor practice, health, safety, employment discrimination, price-fixing, bribery, and “other cases initiated by more than 40 federal regulatory agencies and all divisions of the Justice Department since 2000.”

While the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) doled out the most fines–10,034, to be precise–the biggest fines were collected by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, although that may change in the future as the Trump administration has decided to make corporate misconduct slightly less costly by doing away with the so-called “piling on” of fines and penalties.

According to Zippia, the companies listed in the Good Jobs First database paid out a jaw-dropping $22,727,958,383 in fines in 2018, with these top 10 companies paying out $15,951,582,832–or about 70% of the total amount.