Federal regulators announced today that Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts without their customers requesting them or being informed, knowing since 2011. Employees even created phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the CFPB said.The stealth accounts allowed the bank to charge millions in illicit fees, while Wells Fargo employees boosted their sales figures and earned bonuses. Wells Fargo told CNNMoney that it had fired a staggering 5,300 employees over the last few years as they discovered the misconduct—but they didn’t tell customers what had been going on. .An investigation revealed that bank employees opened over 1.5 million unauthorized deposit accounts.
The scamster employees moved funds from customers’ legitimate accounts into newly-created ones without their knowledge or consent, regulators say. Then the victims were charged for insufficient funds or overdraft fees when there wasn’t enough money in their original accounts. Wells Fargo hustlers also submitted applications for 565,443 credit card accounts without their customers’ consent.
In response, the feds have hit Wells Fargo with the largest penalty since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began was founded in 201, ironically right around the timeWells Fargo started cheating its customer.. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers.
I don’t care how much the bank pays, or even if I get some of it (The Marshalls banked there, but as soon as I get home, that’s going to end.) I don’t care of I have to keep the nest egg in an old sock. I’m not trusting these people. The managers are inept or corrupt, and the lower employees are poorly trained and supervised, as well as crooks. This is a bank. The management has high fiduciary duties. It breached all of them.
Wells Fargo can’t be trusted no matter how many employees it fires, and how much it pays in fines. You are a complete fool if you don’t pull your investments and savings out of such a bank, that betrayed its customers for five years with incompetent hiring, management and oversight. You are a fool if you open an account. Wells Fargo cannot and must not be trusted. Put it out of business. Send a message to the industry. There are other banks, and there must be some that won’t allow their employees to open up fake accounts in your name.
Want to see smoking gun proof of how untrustworthy this crew is? Here’s the statement it issued today. Read it and retch:
“We regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request.”
Do you like that? Oh, they GAVE customers a service they didn’t request! You know, like sending a pizza to the wrong house.The customers benefited! They got something extra!
How dare they.
This statement proves that the bank is incompetent, dishonest, and shameless. Wells Fargo didn’t send customers bonus products, it used fake products to rob its own customers, and doesn’t have the integrity to be straightforward, instead choosing to spin. Customers didn’t receive anything from the bank, the bank took fees from them.
Damn them. I see that David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and a former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, has the same reaction that I do, saying…
“One wonders whether the penalty of $100 million is enough.It sounds like a big number, but for a bank the size of Wells Fargo, it isn’t really….How does a bank that is supposed to have robust internal controls permit the creation of over a half-million dummy accounts?” asked Vladeck. “If I were a Wells Fargo customer, and fortunately I am not, I’d think seriously about finding a new bank.”
Exactly. But don’t just think about it. Do it. Don’t be a patsy. Customers have to show that they will not tolerate being treated this way.
And I hope the Meridith Willson estate sues Wells Fargo for making “The Music Man’s” first act finale nauseating forever more.
As if Ron Howard’s off-key singing wasn’t bad enough.