Feb 21, 2020
Wells Fargo reaches $3bn fake accounts settlement
Wells Fargo, a major US bank, has agreed to pay $3bn to resolve a government investigation into its sales practices, including opening fake customer accounts. Since 2018, Wells Fargo has been operating under an order from the US Federal Reserve that limits its growth. "The conduct at the core of today's settlements - and the past culture that gave rise to it - are reprehensible and wholly inconsistent with the values on which Wells Fargo was built," he said. The prosecutors said the bank's intense focus on growth and pressure on staff to meet "Onerous sales goals" ultimately led workers to create fake accounts, sell services that customers did not need, and shift money between accounts, among other illicit activities. "This case illustrates a complete failure of leadership at multiple levels within the bank. Simply put, Wells Fargo traded its hard-earned reputation for short-term profits, and harmed untold numbers of customers along the way," US Attorney Nick Hanna said.
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