Wells Fargo Defrauded Their Customers. Now They’re Trying To Avoid Blame

A few months ago, Wells Fargo admitted to opening around two million extra accounts without their customers’ knowledge. They did this illegally, costing Wells Fargo customers millions in fees and the perpetrating employees their jobs. Now-former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf abruptly left the company due to this admission, and the public’s trust in the big bank hit a new low.

Since then, Wells Fargo’s stock went back to where it was before news of the scandal broke. The company is still used by millions of people nationwide. They even have a new CEO to lead them into a post-scandal future. Things are looking oddly bright for a company everyone hated not too long ago.

Unfortunately, the customers who want answers and compensation for their identities being used illegally are being left in the cold…or worse.

Wells Fargo customers want to sue the bank for using their identity to open duplicate accounts without their knowledge.

Numerous current and former Wells Fargo customers have hired lawyers to try and file class action suits against the bank. While the company has already promised them compensation for any fees incurred for these fake accounts, these customers feel that repayment of these fees is not enough, and the company owes them more for basically stealing their identity.

After all, if someone used personal and private information like your social security number to open an account that you had no knowledge of, wouldn’t you be angry?

Wells Fargo, however, is forcing these customers into arbitration to settle their claims.

This means that the Wells Fargo customers will have to settle their claims individually instead of as a group, and they have to do it in private rooms instead of a publicly-facing courtroom. Lawyers or retired judges oversee these cases for large sums of money. The odds of winning are usually in favor of the company, as the judges in arbitration have a financial incentive to accept the cases.

Sadly, most customers don’t make it to arbitration because of the cost incurred.

The cases against Wells Fargo are mostly over sums of $100 or less, and few (if any) lawyers will take customers’ cases over such a “paltry” sum. The lawyers that do represent these customers claim Wells Fargo is forcing cases in arbitration to avoid accountability for their mistakes and avoid giving customers a fair court case.

Wells Fargo, however, claims that their bank contracts actually force customers into arbitration — even for fake accounts they illegally created. This has been the company’s policy for years when it comes to claims against them from current and former customers.

Wells Fargo did something wrong to their customers, and admitted fault after customers and employees called them out on it. By forcing customers into arbitration, however, the company is quickly trying to move past the scandal without giving customers their day in court. With actions like this, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to continue banking with them.