The past year-plus has been anything but kind to bank giant Wells Fargo, at least regarding its perception among the general public and how it has been faring from a public relations standpoint.
Many of our readers are obviously already aware of the bank’s colossal-sized woes from last year related to a scam pursuant to which reportedly “as many as 2 million unauthorized checking and credit card accounts” were opened for unwitting bank customers who paid charges for their upkeep. Thousands of bank employees were ultimately fired for their participation in setting up those accounts, and Wells Fargo was fined heavily by criminal and civil regulators for its fraudulent conduct in the matter.
Arguably, the bank hasn’t learned much from its painful lesson, with recent media reports in Connecticut and across the country chronicling massive new problems connected to hiked insurance charges being foisted on hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers.
The issue with that: Those consumers — who secured auto loans from the bank and were required to maintain a requisite level of insurance to protect against vehicle damage — had adequate coverage on their vehicles and yet were still charged additional amounts by Wells Fargo.
Bank principals blame “inadequate” company processes and system checks on the hiked charges that the New York Times states could have adversely affected more than 800,000 customers over a period of years.
Critics will likely argue something else, namely, that what a recent CNN article calls the bank’s “latest scandal” is merely part and parcel on ongoing fraudulent behavior that is fundamentally problematic and demonstrably injurious to customers’ best interests.
Wells Fargo says that it is “extremely sorry” for the overcharges and will duly compensate all individuals who were adversely affected.