Wells Fargo fined for 'widespread' fraud against its own customers
One of the largest banks in the country, Wells Fargo, was fined recently for creating phony accounts for customers without their consent to meet sales targets. According to CNN, federal regulators with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said employees at the bank created more than a million banking and credit card accounts for Wells Fargo customers without their knowledge.
When a Wells Fargo employee opened a new, unauthorized bank account for a customer, the employee would move some of the customer’s money over to the new account. This practice, which the CFPB called “widespread,” often caused customers to become overdrawn and incur insufficient fund charges. When a Wells Fargo employee opened a fake credit card in a customer’s name, the customer would unwittingly be charged annual fees, interest and other fees.
Wells Fargo’s employees allegedly created the accounts so that they could meet their sales quotas and earn bonuses. According to CNN, Wells Fargo said that it has fired more than 5,300 employees who were found to be engaging in the fraudulent behavior.
In addition to the fines, Business Insider reported that the bank has vowed to make changes within its organization to include training its employees so that they avoid committing fraud.
"Wells Fargo is committed to putting our customer’s interest first 100 percent of the time, and we regret and take responsibility for any instance where customers may have received a product they did not request,” the bank said in a statement, according to Business Insider.