On September 8, 2016, Wells Fargo announced that it was paying $185 million in fines to Los Angeles city and federal regulators to settle allegations that its employees created millions of fake bank accounts for customers.
The fraud appears to have stemmed from CEO John Stumpf’s mantra to employees: “eight is great.” Meaning: get eight Wells Fargo products into the hands of each customer. But this directive proved burdensome for bank employees as they struggled to meet demanding quotas and satisfy even more demanding managers.
From 2011 to mid-2016 — but possibly going back to 2009 or before — Wells employees created more than 1.5 million unauthorized deposit accounts and issued more than 500,000 unauthorized credit card applications. These accounts racked up $2.6 million in fees for the bank.
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