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A few weeks ago, news broke about 5300 Wells Fargo employees who had been fired for creating over 2 million fake accounts. Many times the bank employees would create credit card accounts for customers without their consent or knowledge.

More info coming out

The Wall Street Journal has a followup article about Wells Fargo and some more details about the culture of things inside Wells Fargo branches.  I know I was a bit confused by the earlier headlines and wondered how anyone could create 2 million fake accounts without customer’s consent.  Here are a few snippets from the WSJ article

…many branch managers routinely monitored employees’ progress toward meeting sales goals, sometimes hourly, and sales numbers at the branch level were reported to higher-ranking managers as many as seven times a day


Managers asked employees who had fallen short of the [sales] targets if they could open accounts for their mother, siblings or friends

Perhaps the most galling example was the following (emphasis mine)

In Tucson, Ariz., some bankers met sales goals by using a list of wealthier, existing customers who were preselected for credit cards, according to a banker who was fired last year for what the bank called unethical behavior.

The customers were told in phone calls that Wells Fargo planned to send them a new credit card as a “thank you” for their business. If a customer didn’t want the card, he was told to cut the card when it arrived in the mail, according to the former banker.

She says those customers weren’t told that issuing each new card required a credit check, which can lower a person’s credit score.

That is insane – bankers would just fill out the form for a new credit card application for someone and just send it to them??!!?

So it looks like Wells Fargo has fired over 5300 people over the course of the past few years, but it’s not clear that will be enough.  Their CEO is being questioned by Congress, and has had part of his pay clawed back by the company as well.

The whole thing is just madness…

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