Lions Hunting Zebras: Ex-Wells Fargo Bankers Describe Abuses
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: October 31st, 2016
Mexican immigrants who speak little English. Older adults with memory problems. College students opening their first bank accounts. Small-business owners with several lines of credit. These were some of the customers whom bankers at Wells Fargo, trying to meet steep sales goals and avoid being fired, targeted for unauthorized or unnecessary accounts, according to legal filings and statements from former bank employees. The analogy I use was that it was like lions hunting zebras, said Kevin Pham, a former Wells Fargo employee in San Jose, Calif., who saw it happening at the branch where he worked. They would look for the weakest, the ones that would put up the least resistance. Wells Fargo would like to close the chapter on the sham account scandal. But lawmakers and regulators say they will not let it go that quickly, and emerging evidence that some victims were among the banks most vulnerable customers has given them fresh ammunition. This week, three members of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, Wells Fargos hometown, introduced a resolution calling on the city to cut all financial ties with the bank. They cited both the recent scandal and past cases particularly the $175 million that Wells Fargo paid in 2012 to settle accusations that its mortgage brokers had discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers. Current and former Wells Fargo employees say the problems continued well into this year.
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