Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Fines Wells Fargo $100 Million for Widespread Illegal Practice of Secretly Opening Unauthorized Accounts

Categorized | STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Fines Wells Fargo $100 Million for Widespread Illegal Practice of Secretly Opening Unauthorized Accounts

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Fines Wells Fargo $100 Million for Widespread Illegal Practice of Secretly Opening Unauthorized Accounts

Bank Incentives to Boost Sales Figures Spurred Employees to Secretly Open Deposit and Credit Card Accounts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. $100 million for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts. Spurred by sales targets and compensation incentives, employees boosted sales figures by covertly opening accounts and funding them by transferring funds from consumers’ authorized accounts without their knowledge or consent, often racking up fees or other charges. According to the bank’s own analysis, employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. Wells Fargo will pay full restitution to all victims and a $100 million fine to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund. The bank will also pay an additional $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and another $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles.

“Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed. Today’s action should serve notice to the entire industry that financial incentive programs, if not monitored carefully, carry serious risks that can have serious legal consequences.”

The full text of the CFPB’s Consent Order can be found at:http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/092016_cfpb_WFBconsentorder.pdf

Wells Fargo, headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., is one of the biggest banks in the country and offers many consumer financial products and services, including savings and checking accounts, credit cards, debit and ATM cards, and online-banking services. In recent years, the bank has sought to distinguish itself in the marketplace as a leader in “cross selling” these products and services to existing customers who did not already have them. When cross selling is based on efforts to generate more business from existing customers based on strong customer satisfaction and excellent customer service, it is a common and accepted business practice. But here the bank had compensation incentive programs for its employees that encouraged them to sign up existing clients for deposit accounts, credit cards, debit cards, and online banking, and the bank failed to monitor the implementation of these programs with adequate care.

According to today’s enforcement action, thousands of Wells Fargo employees illegally enrolled consumers in these products and services without their knowledge or consent in order to obtain financial compensation for meeting sales targets. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act prohibits unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices. Wells Fargo’s violations include:

  • Opening deposit accounts and transferring funds without authorization: According to the bank’s own analysis, employees opened roughly 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. Employees then transferred funds from consumers’ authorized accounts to temporarily fund the new, unauthorized accounts. This widespread practice gave the employees credit for opening the new accounts, allowing them to earn additional compensation and to meet the bank’s sales goals. Consumers, in turn, were sometimes harmed because the bank charged them for insufficient funds or overdraft fees because the money was not in their original accounts.
  • Applying for credit card accounts without authorization: According to the bank’s own analysis, Wells Fargo employees applied for roughly 565,000 credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. On those unauthorized credit cards, many consumers incurred annual fees, as well as associated finance or interest charges and other fees.
  • Issuing and activating debit cards without authorization: Wells Fargo employees requested and issued debit cards without consumers’ knowledge or consent, going so far as to create PINs without telling consumers.
  • Creating phony email addresses to enroll consumers in online-banking services: Wells Fargo employees created phony email addresses not belonging to consumers to enroll them in online-banking services without their knowledge or consent.

Enforcement Action

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions violating consumer financial laws, including engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. Today’s order goes back to Jan. 1, 2011. Among the things the CFPB’s order requires of Wells Fargo:

  • Pay full refunds to consumers: Wells Fargo must refund all affected consumers the sum of all monthly maintenance fees, nonsufficient fund fees, overdraft charges, and other fees they paid because of the creation of the unauthorized accounts. These refunds are expected to total at least $2.5 million. Consumers are not required to take any action to get refunds to which they are entitled.
  • Ensure proper sales practices: Wells Fargo must hire an independent consultant to conduct a thorough review of its procedures. Recommendations may include requiring employees to undergo ethical-sales training and reviewing the bank’s performance measurements and sales goals to make sure they are consistent with preventing improper sales practices.
  • Pay a $100 million fine: Wells Fargo will pay a $100 million penalty to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund. Today’s penalty is the largest the CFPB has imposed to date.

###
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Comments

comments

This post was written by:

- who has written 8454 posts on FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA.

CONTROL FRAUD | ‘If you don’t look; you don’t find, Wherever you look; you will find’ -William Black

Contact the author

4 Responses to “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Fines Wells Fargo $100 Million for Widespread Illegal Practice of Secretly Opening Unauthorized Accounts”

  1. Charles Reed says:

    Wells Fargo Bank was running this BS of forcing stuff on people as they were doing as I was complaining from the time I worked there and mention the unfair pricing of the active duty military/veterans who were not being shown Dept of VA loans!

    I got this $264 billion SEC Whistleblower claim since Feb 2012 but now the head Whistleblower guy gone to one the the biggest whistleblower law firm without addressing the defaulted Ginnie Mae MBS!

  2. These ?Consent Agreements? are nothing but bribes to white-wash banking criminals whose executives, operators, and attorneys should be behind bars, as they have been treated in Iceland and many other countries.

    ?Wells Fargo Drug Cartel? is not a bank, it is a drug cartel as I have documented in many court documents some of which I published in my websites such as the above page which begins with their own confession of judgment to have laundered $1/2 trillion drug money from Mexican drug imports into USA by ?Wachovia Drug Cartel? with Wachovia Drug Trucks, then laundered the money and the drugs into ?Wells Fargo Drug Cartel? and paid off the feds $150 million to white-wash the entire chain of drug running operations, as if nothing had ever happened, with just this confession of judgment:
    https://kareemsalessi.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/wachovia-12-trillion-drug-money-laundering-legitimized-by-dismissal-of-florida-criminal-case-cr-20165-jal.pdf

    In this recent case, The Cartel had forged tens of thousands of bogus bank accounts, which was similar to their routine criminal operations of forging (i.e.: Robosigning) million of bogus mortgage loans as well as tens of millions of forged foreclosure documents, which they recorded in county recorders offices across the country in order to plunder several million homes, and commercial realty since 2007.

    On top of that, I have documented in this website, from SEC filed documents, proofs that The Cartel has had a broad program of bribing courts in California, and likely in every other state, for their assistance to plunder real estate.

    In addition, in my recent Opening Brief in the 9th Circuit Court case# 13-57063, I have documented that the Cartel?s lawyers have bribed county sheriffs to shoot and kill people if necessary during their unlawful, and bribed, evictions.

    I even proved to the 9th Circuit that in the past 8 years, at least 10,000,000 people in this country have so far been murdered with unlawful foreclosures, rendering USA foreclosures an industry of preplanned genocide. I believe that at least two million people have so far been murdered by ?Wells Fargo Drug Cartel? illegal foreclosures.

    Thank you for posting this comment.

    ?Kareem Salessi 9-9-16?

  3. “Kareem Salessi 9-9-16”

    In my above comment “” have converted to Question Marks (??).

    ****************************

    Addition to my above comment:

    This is a reminder that the “Wells Fargo Drug Cartel” bogus accounts, which are the subject of this page, and are similar to their ongoing millions of “Robosigning forgeries”, were likely engineered by their fraudulent lawyers and executives for their ongoing laundering of drug money linked above, which was inherited from “Wachovia Drug Cartel” in 2009, with the facilitations of the FDIC, and other federal entities.

    Before the above linked “confession of judgment to drug running”, and to drug money laundering, and during most of the past decade, “Wachovia Drug Cartel” had registered around 1,000 entity names, which included the word “WACHOVIA” in their names, for the sole purpose of drug money laundering, under phony entity name disguises, very similar to these phony accounts.

    Here, in this situation, the tens of thousands of bogus accounts have likely served the similarly nefarious purpose of “laundering drug money” and this likely original purpose has obviously been completely white-washed, disguised, and concealed from the public, by the DOJ and with the bribery of the authorities, in return for the disguised “Settlements”.

    This is exactly what they did in 2009-2010, by bribing DOJ $150 million, in the above confession of judgment, in return for a green light to launder the $1/2 TRILLION drug money into new Wells Fargo entity names, and in order to continue laundering it forever, whereby DOJ washed the $1/2 TRILLION drug money clean for the drug cartels and subsequently laundered it for them into a new bogus entity named “Wells Fargo National Bank with Charter# 1”, as if it was the very first nationally chartered bank ever created! (That was in 2010).

    Thank you for posting this addition.

    “Kareem Salessi 9-11-16”

  4. anonymous says:

    Somebody presented the right settlement with Wachovia execs. as he explains it here

    Wachovia Busted Laundering Drug Money

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoT_5Txwp5w

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
Kenneth Eric Trent, www.ForeclosureDestroyer.com

Archives