Home | About | Donate

Huge Consumer Scam Results in Paltry Fines—and Little Else—for Wells Fargo


#1

Huge Consumer Scam Results in Paltry Fines—and Little Else—for Wells Fargo

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Banking behemoth Wells Fargo, one of the world's largest financial institutions, was fined a mere $185 million by various regulators on Thursday for opening millions of unauthorized accounts that racked up fees for consumers and bonuses for employees.


#3

Seeing how the Justice system trates those fatcat bankers contrast it with how they treat the poor.

Here an article on how unpaid traffic fines lead to prison where even more fines levied for not being able to pay court costs and the "use of the prison".

https://www.thenation.com/article/town-turned-poverty-prison-sentence/


#4

This is Barack the Betrayer's brand of justice.


#5

This proves Warren Buffett is nothing more than pond scum! Some 'oracle' -- if he loses in the stock market he covers his idiot bets by fleecing his customers!


#6

... the news "raises the question yet again," Kelleher said, of whether massive financial institutions "have learned anything in the past 10 years."

Absolutely they have learned something. They've learned that they can get away with it and that if they weren't crooked, they wouldn't make nearly as much money as they are making through theft, fraud and financial manipulation. They have also learned that the authorities aren't about to do anything to stop them, and therefore they might as well go ahead and sodomize their clients. To quote a famous personage, "What have they got to lose?"


#7

Note that Wells Fargo is one of the five too-big-to-fail banks that controlled 25% of US bank assets when they crashed the economy in 2008. Thanks to Dodd/Frank legislation and Congress putting US taxpayers on the hook for $16 trillion in various bailout schemes for these banks (confirmed on page 131 of the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report 11-696) those five banks will control more than 50% of US bank assets with monopolization of US banking being the goal of this runaway growth of market share.

Three guesses which POTUS candidate is even talking about breaking up the banks since Sanders was put in a box ?


#8

This is one of the weirder scams. Wells Fargo is responsible for employees' actions, but in this case those illicit actions do not benefit the company, or benefit the company only minimally (through unearned fees) when they get away with it. The likelihood that customers will notice and complain is high. This was not done by employees who were following bosses' orders, rather, they did it in order to trick their bosses into thinking they had met the unreasonable sales goals. The fact that it was so widespread means that employees were telling each other about their tricks. Because it didn't help profits and had high risk of discovery, it could not have been the company's intended policy. Yet the top execs clearly knew about it. Probably they were in denial about how widespread and disruptive to customers the account-faking activity was. Probably, they were unable to grok that their harsh punitive approach to sales promotion was backfiring badly. Talk about out-of-touch! Disgusting, that any of them can keep their jobs after this.


#9

This is the best and most complete article I've seen on this shamelessly inadequate punishment for a major banking crime. I had not seen the part questioning the "5300" firings before.

While Cordray seems to be trying hard to effect whatever change he can, he's hog-tied by neoliberal restrictions on his voice. So we congratulate him and his agency for at last breaking through some barriers. But the way that this whole controversy has been managed politically and media-wise is so typical. Investigations and alerts for many, many months. Hits the national news for 1-2 days and quickly falls to minor level on the Google news page, only to completely fall off the pages by Day 3. Wouldn't want the natives to get restless.

Whatever happened to "I make the big bucks because The Buck Stops Here"? Well, if the buck stops that high, then why aren't those moguls going to prison? And not a nice, fancy prison with tennis courts. Send 'em all to those notorious private prisons where they can eat maggot-infested food twice a day. Oh, but the feds don't do private prisons anymore. Maybe they're expecting company?

We KNOW now that fines do not deter bad behavior in the finance industry. Embezzlers go to prison. Why don't these guys end up there?

I'm glad that I've seen such outrage on comment pages since the news broke. There was the typically righteous glee at first, so grateful that Wells Fargo had been smacked down. But thoughtful folks dug deeper and questioned more. We can thank the Sanders movement and the internet discussions for enriching our conversation and increasing our demands on the system.

What we need now are for some honest and aggressive debate monitors to challenge the candidates about what's happened here: do they agree that it was enough? And if so, why are they satisfied with "solutions" that don't ultimately work and continue to threaten the financial well-being of our citizens?


#10

Normalized deviance and socialized corruption - the American tradition.


#11

In America big crime pays big dividends. I guess crime pays.


#12

hell, they were probably thinking, "we sure do hire well! these are our kind of employees! anything for a dollar....they'll make fine bankers some day!"
I can imagine them promoting these workers, not firing them.


#13

Notice that not one person has been charged with a crime that might result in prison time...

Of course getting "fired" might be considered a penalty by some. Proof that the political corruption in our society has now reached the point that "some" apparently are now above the laws that the rest of us have to live by.


#15

Fraud, forgery, misappropriation and theft, inter alia, were clearly pervasive practices. This massive scheme involved some two million accounts, over a five-year period. Such widespread crimes could not have possibly have occurred without the participation, directives and knowledge of certain very high-level executives.

Furthermore, such a comprehensive program would not have been designed and implemented without having first thoroughly considered the ramifications, i.e. the repercussions concerning customer accounts, governmental regulatory agencies, public relations, as well as potential civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions. Also, it required cross-departmental cooperation.

Aside from the aforementioned wrongdoings, the breach of a fiduciary duty also comes to mind.

Who's going to jail as a result of such egregious practices? Who is going to be appropriately fined? Yahhh... I know. Oh, and I seriously doubt that WF is going to require its employees to forfeit their ill-gotten gains.

That said, in comparison, I am substantially certain that if WF found that hours worked by a staff employee had been overstated, then any related, paid wages would be recouped. Hmmm... I wonder how much in total bonuses this epic scam generated for WF's "model" employees who were involved in this scandalous, financial service's fiasco.

Notwithstanding WF's plans to reimburse the affected account holders for improper fees and charges, I hope there will be a class-action suit by the affected account holders. They ought to seek both compensatory and punitive damages.


#16

Now that corporations are people Uncle Sugar Daddy has got to take care of his errant children. And like any good, rich and powerful father he'll pretend to discipline them and leave it to the nanny to make sure the errant little bastards and bitches do not watch TV the rest of the day while they gorge on the candy they stole from the store.

We are almost to the point where we need daily announcements as to who is above the law and which category of stratosphere dwellers they belong.


#17

The article is full of great points and I will add one more obvious one not mentioned. If Wells Fargo has been firing employees over the last five years, then the clearly KNEW what was going on so they can't be called ignorant so why did they not repair customer accounts before now? Why did they need to be told to do it?


#18

I worked in the financial services industry for the last 32 years of my working life. The simple truth is this: With ever-increasing top-to-bottom annual sales and performance quotas, ethics become non-existent.


#20

If one robs its banking customers of millions of $ from inside their bank; they do not go to prison; however, if one robs the bank from the outside for a paltry sum, they automatically get prison time.


#21

Our country is so corrupt it's laughable, but actually horrible beyond belief. The illegal activities that our big banks and Wall Street engage in 24-7- why does our corruption, as a whole, never get called out by citizens or the media? These types of scandals happen everyday. The world's worst tinpot dictatorship has absolutely nothing on the illegal, country destroying financial, environmental, military, and social destruction reaped upon the world everyday by our biggest companies, financial institutions, etc...