Wells Fargo Uncovers 1,400,000 More Fake Accounts in Growing Sales Scandal

 Jeremy M. Lange/Getty Images for the Washington Post
Jeremy M. Lange/Getty Images for the Washington Post

Nearly a year after news broke that Wells Fargo employees—under the pressure of meeting the bank’s cross-selling sales quotas—created 2.1 million fake accounts under the names of current customers, the bank has uncovered 1.4 million more fake accounts. The bank’s problems are now worse than previously thought.


CNN Money reports that the additional fake accounts were found through an analysis that went back to January 2009 and took another look at the original period of May 2011 to mid-2015. With the total number of fake accounts resting at 3.5 million, that means there are two-thirds more fake accounts than previously acknowledged.

In addition, Wells Fargo said that about 190,000 of these accounts had been hit with unnecessary fees; that number is up from the previous 130,000.

The review also found that there were 528,000 unauthorized online bill-pay accounts opened.

In a statement, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said, “We apologize to everyone who was harmed by unacceptable sales practices that occurred in our retail bank.”


In an attempt to make things right, the bank is scrapping sales goals and installing new management and will pay a total of $6.1 million to refund customers for unauthorized bank and credit card accounts, according to CNN.

The bank will also pay $910,000 to refund customers for the unauthorized opening of 528,000 online bill-pay accounts.


Last year, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $142 million in a national class action settlement that covered fake accounts opened going back to 2002. That settlement was preliminarily approved by a federal judge in July.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who famously ripped into former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf last year during his testimony about the issue in front of the Senate Banking Committee, called the discovery of more fake accounts “unbelievable” via her Twitter account. According to CNN, she has renewed her call for Congress to hold more Wells Fargo hearings and for board members who served during the scandal to be removed from the Federal Reserve.


In addition to the fake-account scandal that won’t go away, Wells Fargo is also battling new allegations of harming customers.

CNN reports that in July, the bank admitted to forcing up to 570,000 borrowers into unnecessary auto insurance, 20,000 of whom had their cars repossessed because of it.


The bank has also been accused of ripping off mom-and-pop businesses with credit card fees, an allegation that it denies.

Read more at CNN Money.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.


Not Enough Day Drinking

Roy Brown, 54, is a homeless man who said that he was hungry and needed a place to live when he walked the Capitol One bank in Shreveport, Louisiana in December 2007 and stole a single $100 bill. The next day, he turned himself into police, apologized, and said that he was not raised to do such things. After he pleaded guilty, the Shreveport judge then sentenced him to 15 years in prison.


Obviously corporations aren’t just people...they’re white people.