Last year, Wells Fargo ($WFC) admitted to defrauding their customers for years. Thousands of the bank’s employees opened duplicate accounts without customers’ knowledge or consent. This ended up netting the company millions in extra fees. It also provided Wells Fargo investors with inflated customer numbers and sales figures.
Since then, the company shelled out hundreds of millions in fees. Their CEO and other high-ranking executives left, albeit with multi-million-dollar payouts. (The company recently took most of that money back from said executives.) Over five thousand employees who took part in this scheme lost their jobs.
Only one question remains: how did thousands of bank managers defraud customers in the first place?
Wells Fargo is a toxic environment.
Bank managers and workers were allegedly not instructed by the company to purposely defraud millions of customers. At the same time, these employees were told their jobs would no longer exist if they didn’t somehow meet the company’s quotas. This created an intense and unfair working environment where workers would do anything and everything just to keep their job.
How did Wells Fargo employees get customers to (un)willingly open duplicate accounts?
CNN Money recently sat down with former Wells Fargo employees and Michael Kade, a lawyer representing other former bank workers. What they discovered was a years-long practice of cleverly deceiving customers from all walks of life, all for the sake of keeping their jobs at a terrible bank.
What will happen to Wells Fargo in the future?
The case against Wells Fargo is still building, and the bank is dealing with the fallout. As mentioned above, the Wells Fargo board will withhold some (but not all) of former CEO John Stumpf’s exit bonus, as well as the bonuses of other former employees. This doesn’t stop the fact that the company knowingly broke laws and ripped off customers. The bank will likely face more legal hearings in the future, but until then, it’s business as usual.