Wells Fargo FINED $185 million for opening bogus accounts

We usually think of banks as conservative, upright corporate citizens simply doing their best to screw the public.  Far fetched?  Not today.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/09/08/wells-fargo-fined-185m-over-unauthorized-accounts/90003212/

The Consumer Financial Protection Board has fined Wells Fargo $185 million for trying to boost up its demand accounts by opening accounts in peoples’ names without their permission.  To add insult injury, they charged these unwitting victims, fees for opening these accounts, including credit cards.  While the CFPB has done an excellent job protecting the public, they seemed to have missed the boat on two scores:

First, while the CFPB has forced Wells Fargo to make “full restitution”, the have levied fines and costs against the bank to be paid to several governmental entities.

The bank has agreed to pay full restitution to all victims and a $100 million fine to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s civil penalty fund. Wells Fargo will pay a separate $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and an additional $50 million to the city and county of Los Angeles.

This is bullshit!  The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency wasn’t screwed!  The City of and County of Los Angeles wasn’t screwed!  The people who trusted Wells Fargo with their money were screwed.  Where are the damages that should come to these victims?  Yet the fines are paid to the government.

Secondly, the CFPB has not said anything about the fact that Wells Fargo stole the identity of these customers.  Up until today, most identity theft occurs when one family member steals the identity of another.  Today, Wells Fargo may now have upset that fact and it may be the largest identity thief on the planet.  Heck, identity thieves get caught and prosecuted all the time.  Where is the prosecution here?

For years, we have been telling our clients to review their credit reports once a year to make sure that all of the accounts reported, in fact, belong, to them.  We never thought that we would be advising our clients, “Oh yeah, if you do business with Wells Fargo, make sure your bank has not stolen your identity.”  Unbelievable!

Speaking for myself, I shamelessly tell people that I am business for myself.  While I dont charge fees and costs to my clients, I do collect them from the banks, lenders and credit reporting agencies that hurt them.  I make no secret of the fact that when we perform services, we do get paid.  It makes me wonder, however, who is the CFPB in business for?  Us?  Hardly.  So then…..who?

If you have items on your credit report that are incorrect or inaccurate, contact Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation.  Contact Attorney Gary Nitzkin at gary@micreditlawyer.com or call (888) 293-2882.

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