Wells Fargo Back To Being Wells Fargo

That’s two new scandals in as many days, for those keeping score.
Getty Images

Getty Images

If you can believe it, almost two whole months of 2018 managed to pass without some new malfeasance or potential malfeasance or incompetence or potential incompetence or skullduggery or potential skullduggery emerging at Wells Fargo. Sure, one of those two months was the shortest of the year, but still: Impressive. And even more so when you realize that Wells managed to get through the last month and a half of last year without having some new scandal break or new investigation opened or person fired for complaining about the entities engaging in those investigations and the fines they levy at the end of them.

Alas: Wells could not get through February without seeing that streak end.

Matthew Valles, a former fraud investigator for Wells Fargo in Portland, Ore., said the bank fired him in January in retaliation for his internal complaints about “hundreds” of mishandled fraud investigations….

Wells Fargo customers, however, have complained that the bank was too quick to freeze or close accounts after signs of fraud — even if they themselves reported the suspicious activity. The consumer bureau’s complaints database contains dozens of reports from aggrieved customers who said their accounts had been shut down after they were victimized. Some customers who unknowingly deposited fake checks, for instance, said their accounts had then been terminated, often with little warning or explanation.

Nor shall March mark the beginning of a new streak:

Wells Fargo on Thursday disclosed the board’s investigation in a securities filing, saying it was “in response to inquiries from federal government agencies.”

The bank said the board’s review is assessing “whether there have been inappropriate referrals or recommendations, including with respect to rollovers for 401(k) plan participants, certain alternative investments, or referrals of brokerage customers to the company’s investment and fiduciary services business.”

Wells Fargo Accused of Harming Fraud Victims by Closing Accounts [NYT]
Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management Unit Attracts Justice Department Attention [WSJ]