Please dim those lights: national bank under a withering glare

When asked to name a financial institution that has had a flatly awful past year from a publicity and consumer trust standpoint, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a poll of respondents come up with Wells Fargo, would it?

The adverse attention that has focused — and continues to focus — unwaveringly on the bank is something that Wells Fargo officials continue to flail against and apologize for.

Recent times “have been anything but kind” for the bank, we note in a recent blog post, with our August 1 entry chronicling just one fiasco among several that have prominently surfaced in the national media to materially the institution’s reputation.

That post pointed to the legions of bank customers who were fleeced into buying unnecessary auto insurance. The bank said it was “extremely sorry” for that.

And now, as noted in a recent CNN article addressing a progressively spiking number of fake customer accounts that steadily jacks up the number of defrauded consumers, the bank repeats that mantra. In response to a report that as many as 1.4 million more bogus accounts have been uncovered in a recent review, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan states that, “We apologize to everyone who was harmed.”

Those recurrent intonations are likely ringing hollow in the ears of many customers, with the tally on fake bank and credit card accounts now being in the millions. Wells Fargo has already agreed to settle a huge class action case for $142 million, and it is now on the hook for additional monies.

One financial analyst predicts that the “spotlight will continue to shine brightly” on the bank.

Wells Fargo principals undoubtedly wish that someone would just turn off the lights.