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http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/08/investing/wells-fargo-created-ph...

You would think customers hit with fees would make the scheme unravel within a couple of months. Working for a bank - how would you possibly think this would work? Seems like identity theft to me with all the repercussions.

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I thought he was looking for an international bank because he wanted to leave the US.

MilleniumBuc (Oct. 14, 2016 @ 11:30a) |

rufflesinc (Oct. 14, 2016 @ 2:04p) |

California AG to investigate Wells Fargo for identity theft - http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Calif... (more)

samko (Oct. 19, 2016 @ 6:48p) |

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Article Excerpt said: The way it worked was that employees moved funds from customers' existing accounts into newly-created accounts without their knowledge or consent, regulators say. The CFPB described this practice as "widespread" and led to customers being charged for insufficient funds or overdraft fees -- because the money was not in their original accounts.

Additionally, Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for 565,443 credit card accounts without their knowledge or consent, the CFPB said the analysis found. Many customers who had unauthorized credit cards opened in their names were hit by annual fees, interest charges and other fees.



This is egregious! Not excusing the errant employees by any means. But this also reflects on the employee reward structure created by management.

I remember having to open a checking acct when I got their mortgage for a point discount, kept it open for 6 mo then closed it. Never felt any pressure.

Chase, on the other hand, keep sending me post cards offering $50 checking acct sign up bonus and also had local branch people calling me directly.

What as joke, 5 mill to reimburse the defrauded and 185 million in fines.  Like the FAA fines for airlines that lock people in a plane on a tarmac for a day and they get a pack of peanuts while the govt gets 10k a head for their inconvenience.

"Wells Fargo is being slapped with the largest penalty since the CFPB was founded in 2011. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers."

CFPB appears to be the real winner here.

Employees apparently did so to meet sales goals. Nice!

"Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that the 5,300 firings took place over several years."

So on one hand they've been firing people for years and thats clearly taking action against employees. On the other hand they didn't fix the system to stop it for several years and were clearly aware it was going on.

Huh. Wells Fargo closed one of my credit cards once... No new accounts (AFAIK)

In ten years the same will happen again!!

This nearly happened to me at a Wells Fargo. Probably about 10 years ago I walked into a branch to close my account. One of the new account reps pulled me out of line to "help me close my account." Then she started asking me questions about my address, whether I rent or own, income, etc... Before she got too far into it, I realized what was happening and I got upset. I asked her if she was opening up a credit card for me. She denied it, but I got the manager and he gave me some crap lip service. I can't believe this crap was systemic. I just thought it was that one greedy rep. Needless to say, I will never bank with Wells Fargo again.

How is this behavior not criminal on the part of the employees?

Of course, the person who came up with the incentive plan probably got a promotion.

I dated a girl that worked for Wells Fargo 12 years ago and the pressure was insane. Each quarter they needed to hit a certain quota of new accounts. If you didn't hit that quota a couple times in a row you were fired. This was before I was in the points game and wouldn't you know she had me sign up for like 6 accounts when it was crunch time and was below the quota. I kid you not, at a family function a relative said, "I can't believe you signed grandpa up for a credit card". Grandpa was had been in a freaking coma for years but that quota needed to be hit. At another event a relative said, "can I cancel the cards that you signed me up for yet because Wells Fargo keeps sending me junk mail."

Every quarter she did the same thing - begged friends/relatives to let her sign them up for every account in the book.

Finally, she told me that an employee had recently been fired for setting up customers' accounts online including the passwords! They got credit when a customer signed up for the online accounts but most never did so he took it upon himself to make sure he hit the quota.

Happened to me a year ago.  I walked into the branch because i needed to open a separate checking account.  The teller helping me kept telling me to open a savings account too.  I said no.  He said, but it comes with a savings account.  I said no it does not.  I dont need it.  Next day when i logged in online i saw a checking and a savings created, was pissed.  Went back to the branch, spoke to the branch manager, told him what happened, he apologized and closed the savings account.

I would think there's a legit shareholder suit if this revelation seems to hurt or even hold back stock value here. This widespread and lengthy, management knew that their customer accounts and trends were unreliable.

I hope the incentive plan was called the Wells Fargo Great Leap Forward.

stat9 said:   I dated a girl that worked for Wells Fargo 12 years ago and the pressure was insane. Each quarter they needed to hit a certain quota of new accounts. If you didn't hit that quota a couple times in a row you were fired. This was before I was in the points game and wouldn't you know she had me sign up for like 6 accounts when it was crunch time and was below the quota. I kid you not, at a family function a relative said, "I can't believe you signed grandpa up for a credit card". Grandpa was had been in a freaking coma for years but that quota needed to be hit. At another event a relative said, "can I cancel the cards that you signed me up for yet because Wells Fargo keeps sending me junk mail."

Every quarter she did the same thing - begged friends/relatives to let her sign them up for every account in the book.

Finally, she told me that an employee had recently been fired for setting up customers' accounts online including the passwords! They got credit when a customer signed up for the online accounts but most never did so he took it upon himself to make sure he hit the quota.


It seems like low-level employees were fired based on impossible goals set by management. They were the scapegoats. People at corporate headquarters should be canned for this.

Funny - they closed my son's account because they had some issues with his identification. [And he has never had issues anywhere else]. Buffett likes this bank but for me that one incident was a great sign of their incompetence - so I have stayed away from them - both for doing business and investing in their stock.

Had these troubles, branch manager refused to do anything about it. Had to escalate to my credentials of writing federal banking law for a living (real) with regional HQ as the only way to escape and get bad fees refunded. The Lizard of Omaha benefited once again from dishonoring financial ethics/law.

@stat9 -- Thanks for sharing, I was interested in hearing more from the side of the fired employees.  Surely there must be gradations within the population, e.g., from (i) employees (and managers) who recklessly disregarded rules, used fake identities etc.to (ii) employees who recruited friends & family to open legit (if unneeded) accounts.  From press reports so far, sounds like the latter are lumped together with former, and they're all fired.

To me, fairness would entail individual review, re-training for employees who acted in good faith, etc.  

If you look at the compensation structure for Wells Fargo Financial Advisors this isn't too surprising.  The only way they make money is to churn.  Exactly why I pulled everything out of their brokerage after receiving some "advice" of questionable merit.

stat9 said:   I kid you not, at a family function a relative said, "I can't believe you signed grandpa up for a credit card". Grandpa was had been in a freaking coma for years but that quota needed to be hit.
  buried the lede!

Shouldn't the victims get much more than just refund? $185MM is chump change for a bank this size. If the punishment does not hurt the culprit, the punishment is not enough.

Tiggerlgh said:   CFPB appears to be the real winner here.And everyone with any exposure to index funds or mutual funds that included WF (probably everyone with a retirement account or a pension) are the real losers.

There should be a distinction in how the government punishes a private corporation vs a public corporation. It's one thing to fine a private corporation -- the costs come out of the owners pockets, and they're probably responsible.  But the public can't be held responsible for the wrong-doings of a public corporation, so every responsible exec should be personally fined, jailed, and forbidden from ever working in the same industry again.

I have a mortgage and a linked free (without any deposit/balance requirement) checking account that I have had for over 10 years and no issues with WF over accounts. Once when a debit card was not renewed I was hit with a few fees (the checking account DOES have to have a debit card for the fee waiver) which they took off and re-issued the card for when asked.

Mainly just use it for ATM and Surepay from my roomie.

I was nearly involved in litigation with Wells Fargo on two occasions. They had insane, nearly impossible sales quotas to meet... and they would just fire the non-performers, who were mostly the people who weren't defrauding people. I had one client who was a former Wells Fargo employee who formerly assisted in managing a branch before taking a job in another industry. He went in to open up a business account and, without his authorization, the business banker opened 2-3 additional accounts in the new business' name. He complained to Wells Fargo corporate, who assured him that stern measures had been meted out to this evil-doer. Checked the bad guy's LinkedIn three months later... promoted.

So...I'm in the process of buying a home, and Wells Fargo is one of the mortgage providers I've been most interested in: their rates have generally been as low as, or lower than, the other lenders I'm considering since I started checking, and their mortgage product has some features that I like. Is this any reason to stay away from them? I understand not doing business with a bank that does shady stuff, but we're talking about significant savings over the course of decades here.

Opened a WFC checking account last year (for the WFC Propel bonus)
The branch staff was very unfriendly and just plain rude...

Got the bonus and bid buh-bye.
Plan Was to get a card and bonus for the spouse too. But the whole experience left a bad taste in the mouth.

Denied recently for a new WF credit card because of "too many new accounts". Guess they aren't hurting that much for new accounts or maybe I should have applied in-branch instead of online. Hmmmmm.

earlier post said: Also: http://on.wsj.com/2cITJZM

People who like in glass houses...

https://creditcardfraudblog.wordpress.com/

TooManyCards said:   So...I'm in the process of buying a home, and Wells Fargo is one of the mortgage providers I've been most interested in: their rates have generally been as low as, or lower than, the other lenders I'm considering since I started checking, and their mortgage product has some features that I like. Is this any reason to stay away from them? I understand not doing business with a bank that does shady stuff, but we're talking about significant savings over the course of decades here.Have you checked Zillow? I'm like 95% sure that you'll find a better deal online than at any of the major banks.

So let me ask this, if I opened up a bunch of account under different people names and made money off of it, wouldn't I find myself in Jail battling tons of legal fee's? So why then do these people working for one of the largest banks get a hand slap ( Yes Fired ) and well Fargo pays out a bunch of money to make nice with everyone....  They should have put people in jail and fined them, then went after Wells Fargo for fines and probation.. They were using personal information to open these account, nothing stopped them from selling it the info or whatever with it.

People need to start paying the price for doing stuff like they this, not hiding under the Corp Shield and not serving time....

scripta said:   
TooManyCards said:   So...I'm in the process of buying a home, and Wells Fargo is one of the mortgage providers I've been most interested in: their rates have generally been as low as, or lower than, the other lenders I'm considering since I started checking, and their mortgage product has some features that I like. Is this any reason to stay away from them? I understand not doing business with a bank that does shady stuff, but we're talking about significant savings over the course of decades here.
Have you checked Zillow? I'm like 95% sure that you'll find a better deal online than at any of the major banks.

  But for an eighth of a point, I'd rather go with a big bank where I know I can get ahold of the people if something bizarre happens like I get a MERS notice that Doge e-bank has now sold my loan to the North Korean People's 30th Farm Industrial Development Lending Committee.

But wtf Wells Fargo 5,300 employees! OMG. Said to have happened over a number of years. Who did their subsequent trainings of new employees. That whole department should be fired.



Nobody has a sense of shame anymore.

Listen to the way business reps [any business, any level employee/owner] answer questions. The typical answer are nebulous: I think so, maybe, probably, should be, etc. And various incarnations of BS answers. Oh & try to get anyone to admit they're wrong. Not happening.

Recently I was speaking to a lot of health professionals for a couple months. After the 1st week & each individuals 1st weak answer. I said this to all of them, "THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWERS ARE YES, NO OR I DON'T KNOW BUT I'LL FIND OUT."

I had to hire a nursing service for an elderly relative, very expensive but needed. Anyways 1 call I made one employee was extremely rude to me & another out & out lied to me. I called the outside sales guy [solicits at hospitals], 100% aces with me. I told him unless they had a conference call with the owner present where the 2 employees admitted they were wrong & asked for my forgiveness I was taking my business elsewhere. I got that call & still it was like pulling teeth to get the liar to admit they lied to me.

Amazing most people are POS these days when it comes to accountability.

A good reason why I deal almost solely with credit unions. whose goal is to serve their members, not get money out of them.

wizwor said:   
earlier post said: Also: http://on.wsj.com/2cITJZM

People who like in glass houses...

https://creditcardfraudblog.wordpress.com/

  "Automatic renewal" comes close to being a scam, but most publishers (incl W5J) do disclose the practice in the subscription agreement/offer.  Personally, I use only virtual CC acct numbers (dollar and date limited) for any subscription ... including the W5J ... to prevent auto renewal.

Argyll said:   A good reason why I deal almost solely with credit unions. whose goal is to serve their members, not get money out of them.
  I'm a big fan of credit unions, too, but let's be honest:  The goal of most CU executives is to maximize their personal compensation.  They generally strive to manage the CU to generate a profit, they just call it a "surplus."  NFCU made $872 million last year, $719 million the year before that.

To me, it's a little like airlines and internet providers. They're all terrible, and personal boycotts are not very effective. Taking advantage of their best deals when they suit me is almost always acceptable for me, and when I can maximize that FWF-style, maybe I do imagine it's a little justice. I definitely don't hesitate in order to be 'fair' or 'reasonable' with any of these bastages.

Incentive schemes that drive financial services companies to work against their customer's interests? Why I never! Until there are harsher penalties on white collar crime this won't change.

Ironically, they are the toughest major bank to open a credit card with as you *have* to go into the bank to initiate a relationship with you or it's auto-denial.LOL. Still, so shameful for the "leadership" at WF.

Skipping 122 Messages...
California AG to investigate Wells Fargo for identity theft - http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/California-...



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