It’s been years of scandal now for Wells Fargo customers that have stuck with the bank despite its rough patch that began in 2016. Word first broke out that the national bank had been creating fake accounts with its customers information. The millions of fake accounts were made by hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo employees as a way to meet the account quotas given to them by their supervisors. The employees were fired, but the effects of the scandal have caused Wells Fargo years of struggle. Now, nearly three years later, Wells Fargo hopes to settle the resulting investigations.
The initial news rocked the banking industry, and millions of customers began to wonder whether they could trust their bank. Wells Fargo had, until then, managed to steer clear from the banking drama surrounding the last two decades. But in 2016, the company revealed itself to be just as untrustworthy as its Wall Street counterparts. It’s been a couple of years since all of this went down, so here’s a refresher on the incident from The Week.
Now, the end of the scandal is finally in sight. Wells Fargo has agreed to pay a total of $575 million in settlements to all 50 states. The investigations into the malpractice in 2016 showed that Wells Fargo will need to do some serious damage control in order to win back the trust of American consumers. The company has also been required to pay more than $1 billion in damages in addition to the settlement fees it will be paying soon.
California will receive most of the settlement money with a quarter of the funds going to the banks home state. Each state, including Washington D.C. will receive a different amount from the settlement. Various leaders have spoken out against the bank in the wake of the scandal. California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, called the bank’s actions “disgraceful” in a press statement to the New York Times.
As Wells Fargo works tirelessly to remain afloat, it’s under strict regulation to make amends before it can take any steps forward. The Federal Reserve gave Wells Fargo strict orders in early 2018 to improve its internal checks and balances before it would be allowed to grow any more.
Wells Fargo knows it’s customers are weary of its services. The last few years have seen many ad campaigns and efforts to rewrite the story being told about the company in the press. Wells Fargo even launched a heartfelt ad about earning back the trust of its customers in the spring of last year. It may be some time, though, before those customers actually feel safe in their investments with the company.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.