How Can Anyone Keep Their Money at Wells Fargo?

ACORN Citizen Wealth Financial Justice

Manderson, WY   On Wyoming maps there are various stagecoach routes that are marked not far from the Silver Bullet’s location on the Bridger Trail. Stagecoaches, the Pony Express, and other ways of delivering the mail are so 1800s. Sadly, for some the only knowledge they may have of a stagecoach is the symbol still used by the banking giant Wells Fargo. If anyone was still manufacturing stagecoaches they would have solid grounds for a lawsuit against the bank for damaging their brand. As one story after another emerges from the gruesome bowels of the bank, I can’t help but wonder, how can anyone keep their money at Wells Fargo?

Just this week there were another handful of grim revelations by the bank.

Wells Fargo said in a regulatory filing that its review of potentially unauthorized accounts could reveal a “significant increase” in the number of accounts involved, up from the 2.1 million that it previously estimated. Wells Fargo said it had expanded its investigation to add three years to its review period, which covered accounts opened from 2011 to mid-2015. This scandal has engulfed the bank leading the fall of one chief executive already, the clawback of bonuses from the CEO and other executives, and, oh yeah, the firing of thousands who participated in schemes where they opened accounts without permission, often closing them quickly as well, in order to make sales and income goals in a boiler room from hell operation.

Just for good measure it seems, the bank also revealed that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating whether they harmed customers by closing accounts when there was suspected fraudulent activity and doing so unilaterally without investigation. Hey, we all know their policy now: easy open, quick close, the customer be damned.

That’s not all of course. ACORN fought them for years over the issue of predatory lending winning a begrudging settlement and a gag order mainly for our California members. Others have sued them in recent years for discrimination in lending and of course who can forget the billions they paid along with other members of their tribe for sketchy securitization of mortgages.

Not enough for you yet? How about this one?

Wells Fargo with headquarters in San Francisco, California, a state with a significant Hispanic population, was just slapped down by a federal judge when Wells and its lawyers tried to argue that they had the right to discriminate. Yes, you’re hearing me correctly, the right to discriminate.

A federal judge shot down an argument from Wells Fargo last week that banks can discriminate against applicants, in certain cases, based on immigration status. The class-action lawsuit, brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, concerns six DACA recipients, more commonly known as “Dreamers,” who were denied student loans and credit cards from Wells Fargo because of their undocumented status. Are you following me, under deferred action the government allowed them to go to school, work, drive, and live semi-normal lives, but Wells Fargo, believed that despite the DACA relief from the federal government in allowing them to attend colleges and universities, the bank had the right to deny them student loans regardless.

Their culture is one big anti-customer hot mess. It’s not buyer-beware over there, it’s “come into my web said the spider to the fly.” I can’t stop scratching my head in continual wonder as I keep asking myself, “How can anyone keep their money at Wells Fargo?”