Four senior managers have been let go from Wells Fargo due to their alleged connection to last year’s scandal involving more than 1.5 million fake bank accounts that were opened in customers’ names. The board of directors approved the terminations unanimously, taking the action as part of an ongoing independent investigation into the wrongdoing.
Among the employees fired were a community bank chief risk officer, the head of community bank strategy and initiatives and two regional presidents.
In September 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and city of Los Angeles, issued fines of about $185 million against Wells Fargo. According to regulators, the bank’s aggressive sales targets led employees to open deposit accounts in its customers’ names without the account holders’ knowledge, transferring money into the fake accounts from customers’ real accounts. The bank then charged many of these customers overdraft fees if their accounts lacked sufficient funds.
Wells Fargo employees also reportedly opened more than 565,000 credit cards in the names of existing customers, again without their knowledge or approval.
Whistleblower terminated after speaking up
In addition to the fraud itself, the bank is dealing with allegations that it unfairly treated at least one whistleblower who had attempted to report the wrongdoing back in 2010. In the midst of the scandal breaking, federal officials ordered Wells Fargo to rehire the employee, who had received stellar performance reviews before being abruptly terminated shortly after bringing up the issue with his supervisors at a Los Angeles branch.
It appears Wells Fargo’s legal troubles are far from over, and fortunately, the work of whistleblowers prevented the alleged fraud from continuing. If you are aware of wrongdoing within your business or organization, speak with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers today.