And... Yet Another Wells Fargo Banking Scandal

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

Is it Friday again? Must be time for another banking scandal!

Seriously– these banking scandals are happening with such regularity and predictability it would be almost comical. . . were it not for the millions of people who have had their lives turned upside down.

The latest transgression involves, once again, our old friends at Wells Fargo.

Bear in mind that the ink isn’t even dry yet on the $1 billion check that Wells Fargo wrote last week as a penalty to settle its previous scandal, where they defrauded 570,000 clients in a car insurance scam.

By the bank’s own estimates, as many as 20,000 of those clients may have had their vehicles repossessed as a result of their inability to pay for the car insurance that Wells Fargo illegally stuck them with.

And speaking of vehicle repossession, in November of last year Wells Fargo came under fire for illegally repossessing vehicles that were owned by members of the military.

In October, Wells Fargo took heat from federal regulators after it was found that the bank had deliberately recommended investment products that were “highly likely to lose value. . .” Early that month, the bank admitted that it had ‘erroneously’ charged late fees to more than 100,000 borrowers, even though the delays were the bank’s fault.

In 2016, a number of employees at various Wells Fargo branches in California were found to have sold sensitive customer information, including Social Security Numbers, to a ring of identity thieves.

And of course, in late 2016 and all throughout 2017, Wells Fargo’s notorious ‘fake account’ scandal was found to have affected millions of customers.

There’s a word for all of this: fraud.

And if you or I had committed any of these acts by even the slightest, we’d be wearing DayGlo Orange jumpsuits in a federal penitentiary.

But a grand total of ZERO executives from Wells Fargo have been sent to prison or faced any charges whatsoever.

In fact, the executive who was found to be the most culpable in the fake account scandal scored a whopping $67 million severance package when she left the company in late 2016.

And the new CEO (who took over after the fake account scandal in 2016) has been rewarded with a 35% pay increase even though both the stock price and the bank’s profits have languished.

Scandal #867,241 just hit the news yesterday afternoon: Wells Fargo is now being investigated by the United States Department of Labor. This time the bank is accused of deliberately pushing customers into more expensive, higher-fee retirement accounts– accounts that are bad for the customers, but more lucrative for the bank.

It just never stops with these people. And it’s not just Wells Fargo.

Nearly EVERY major bank in the world, from JP Morgan to Barclays, Citigroup, UBS, Bank of America, etc. has been found at some point or another over the last several years of grossly violating the public’s trust.

Yet we consumers still willingly let these criminals hold our money.

Month after month we deposit our paychecks and hold our savings in an institution that rarely misses an opportunity to prove that they cannot be trusted.

They’ve been caught manipulating asset prices, colluding to fix interest rates and exchange rates, and engaging in irresponsible lending practices that put our savings at risk for their sole benefit.

They treat customers with such contempt, scrutinizing even the most innocuous transactions as if WE are the criminals.

And when they screw it all up, gambling away our hard-earned savings on some idiotic investment fad, they go to the taxpayer with hat-in-hand claiming that they’re too important to go out of business… and then shower themselves with record bonuses.

Our reward for putting up with all of this abuse? Well, according to BankRate.com, interest rates at the biggest retail banks (Wells, Bank of America, Chase, etc.) average just 0.01%.

This banking system so pathetic.

Yet we’ve all been institutionalized, practically since birth, to believe that we HAVE to use it… that there’s no alternative.

And that used to be true several decades ago. But in 2018, there are countless alternatives.

Literally every single function of a bank can be performed better, faster, cheaper OUTSIDE of the banking system.

Rather than holding your savings in a bank, you can literally earn more than 150x as much interest with extremely short-term Treasury Bills. Or if you want, you can even hold physical cash.

For loans, there are dozens of websites where you can crowdfund a home loan or small business loan.

And for retirement accounts– the latest Wells Fargo transgression– you DEFINITELY don’t need a bank.

Retirement accounts are one of the biggest areas where banks and major financial institutions routinely bilk their customers out of useless and unnecessary fees.

Even if they’re not charging you a fee outright, they’re diverting your retirement savings into some fund that they control and taking a percentage or two away from what you should be earning.

And over a period of several decades (we’re talking about retirement after all), a single percent difference in your average investment return because of bank fees can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So it’s a pretty big deal.

The reality is there are SO many ways to properly structure your retirement in better, more robust, less expensive ways.

For example– if you qualify, a solo 401(k) is an extraordinary retirement structure that’s cheap to administer and incredibly flexible.

With a solo 401(k), you can contribute tens of thousand of dollars each year to your retirement, as well as invest in a variety of assets that are not available to traditional plans (like real estate and private equity).

And you can even borrow money directly from your retirement plan under certain circumstances.

Self-directed IRAs are also great structures with similar benefits, though they have slightly higher costs and less flexibility.

Bottom line, there are plenty of options on the table to distance yourself from this abuse.

Comments

MadMav Fri, 04/27/2018 - 15:57 Permalink

But a grand total of ZERO executives from Wells Fargo have been sent to prison or faced any charges whatsoever

 

Enough said

 

FireBrander MadMav Fri, 04/27/2018 - 16:02 Permalink

Years, years back, Fargo underwrote my policies; raised the rate 45% in one shot...no explanation...I called, they said "Tough shit, pay it".

I canceled it.

Decades ago, wife worked for Fargo...got the "employee discount" for a home mortgage...even with the discount, the cost was $500 above everyone else and the rate was higher too...how in the world are they STILL in business...maybe there's some chemical in those suckers they so generously hand out?

In reply to by MadMav

NugginFuts FireBrander Fri, 04/27/2018 - 16:08 Permalink

That seems to be every bank/insurance company lately.

"Oh, it's renewal time? Awesome! 40% rate increase for no reason whatsoever!"

This along with property tax increases, water, sewer, garbage, local sales tax..... Sing along with me now:

And everybody's goin' Serfin'......Serfin' USA!

In reply to by FireBrander

Boris Alatovkrap thisandthat Fri, 04/27/2018 - 17:15 Permalink

Boris is apply for relief in Wells Fargo Settlement:

Last year, we sent you an email letting you know that, as part of our commitment to make things right, Wells Fargo entered into a $142 million class action settlement fund related to the opening of unauthorized accounts. Today, we are writing to let you know that the deadline to submit a claim with the fund has been extended to July 7, 2018.

If you believe Wells Fargo opened a checking, savings, credit card, or line of credit account for you without your permission, or if you purchased identity theft protection from us, you may be entitled to compensation from this fund. If you submit a claim, you may be eligible for reimbursement of fees, compensation for potential impact on your credit, and an additional cash payment based on any money remaining in the fund after benefits and costs are paid out. 

To find out more, go to wfsettlement.com or call 1‑866‑431‑8549

… they will mail money to Minsk, yes?

In reply to by thisandthat

Mr. Universe thisandthat Sat, 04/28/2018 - 11:53 Permalink

Now lets add things up here, class action settlement fee for lawyers 25% or around 26 million simoleons. That leaves ~$110M to distribute among the 3.5 million members of the "class" which turns out to be $33.  To process your request Mr Alatovkrap we are going to need a lot more crap from you including but no limited to foreign transaction forms, banking statements, DNA sample and a picture of your swollen gonads (you posted back in '13 your wife was a ball buster). After completing these items and paying your foreign filling fee of $50 we will send you your check for $33 right away. Thank you for being a Wells Fargo customer.

In reply to by thisandthat

Mr. Universe FireBrander Fri, 04/27/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

Here in Wells Fargo Country the people I see standing in line at the grocery store bank line are uh um, lets say this, you don't get a job as a teller there unless you speak Spanish, or Tagalog. None easier to take advantage of than those who can't go top the authorities to complain. Wells Fargo is just making their stay in this country easier for them, you know a real public service.

In reply to by FireBrander

Endgame Napoleon NugginFuts Fri, 04/27/2018 - 19:10 Permalink

In the case of the insurance, it might be due to all of those claims from floods, hurricanes and natural disasters, but many people would be better off ditching a car and moving to a city with public transportation.

Insurance companies, like banks, have hordes of low-wage employees, making between $9 and $12 per hour, and a few dudes and dudettes at the top whose skills are more valuable than the Hope diamond.

Ponchantas said some annoying things. But when she asked one those CEOs how he could justify a a scandal-ridden manager’s $40-something-million severance package to his board of directors and the shareholders, it was pretty apt.

No one cares when the people who interact with customers get paid $10 to $14 per hour and cannot afford rent that consumes more than half of their monthly pay, but shareholders’ returns are supposed to matter. 

 

In reply to by NugginFuts

gregga777 MadMav Fri, 04/27/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

But a grand total of ZERO executives from Wells Fargo have been sent to prison or faced any charges whatsoever

 

Why should they face charges, trials and jail time? The banking gangsters (and the CON Street Swindlers) own the US Government in its entirety. They own the:

  • Executive branch including the Presidency, DoJ (US Department of Corruption, Injustice & Persecution) and the 17 three-letter Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei) agencies;
  • House of Representatives and Senate in the CONgress;
  • Judiciary especially the Supreme Court.

They also overwhelmingly own the Mainstream FAKE NEWS Media and Entertainment Oligopoly. 

It would surely be a travesty of immense historical proportions were the very owners of the United States of America to spend any time in court or prison. 

 

In reply to by MadMav

gregga777 TheReplacement Fri, 04/27/2018 - 17:23 Permalink

And a grand total of zero execs gunned down in the streets by their victims.

More than enough said.

It was not until after the Russian Revolution began that the peasantry began the wholesale elimination of the landed gentry and the aristocracy. They put up with a tremendous amount of abuse from their 'betters' before they began extracting their revenge. And make no mistake, the Russian Revolution was largely driven by a desire for payback and revenge. 

In reply to by TheReplacement

DuckDog MadMav Fri, 04/27/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

Every time I read these articles it makes me feel so good I screwed Wells Fargo MasterCard Line of Credit for over $110,000.00 when I declared bankruptcy for my business

Actually when I read any bank story I get a warm fussy feeling knowing I screwed the banking system for over $3 Million cold hard cash line of credit, and my life has never been better since I don't have to make the interest payments on that debt.

The funny part is 2 years after said event I'm getting credit offers from them again...

And my silver is still at the bottom of the lake, and that is because I lost the boat in the bankruptcy

In reply to by MadMav

Karl Marxist MadMav Fri, 04/27/2018 - 21:04 Permalink

Ladies and gents, Wachovia 2.0. Only then it was laundering drug money to prop their asses up. Now it's just outright theft. Outright theft. And there's still no real political will to put Wells Fargo completely out of business, Warren Buffet included, nor put those doing the outright theft in court, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and publicly hang every one on Pay per View -- the guilty forced to pay for the show. And make full restitution on down through ever family member until the debt is paid in full.  These Luciferian Moloch worshippers are conned into thinking they will enjoy the pain -- that pain makes them stronger. Sorry. They will cry like babies. I'd pay for that.

In reply to by MadMav

Odin Fri, 04/27/2018 - 16:02 Permalink

Why wouldn't we expect another scandal every week? They steal 10, are forced to pay 1 as punishment, and nobody goes to jail. The fraud incentive is quite literally built into the system at this point...

adr Odin Fri, 04/27/2018 - 16:16 Permalink

I think it is more like they steal 100 and pay back .01.

I had that conversation with a Drewish guy one time. He said, "Of course we will connive and steal when there is so much incentive to. It is your fault for not doing the same. You can have a business and lie and cheat. When you get caught, that business will be closed, you might get sued, you might have creditors trying to take their piece of flesh. But if you did it right, the real money will be somewhere else and you'll leave them fighting for scraps. Then you can just go do it again. The same guys run the same scams for years. Nobody stops them because it isn't illegal to start a new business."

I said, "Well yeah but what about ethics?"

He said, "Ethics were invented by the wicked to keep good people from stopping them."

And that's them in a nutshell.

In reply to by Odin

dirty fingernails Odin Fri, 04/27/2018 - 16:54 Permalink

What baffles me is that nobody with a gun has went on a rampage at corporate headquaters or shot a CEO. Yet dipshits talk about killing political opponents while the bankers, pharma fucks, MIC leeches, etc run around unaccosted. WTF?

"I've lost everything and have nothing to lose so Ima gunna go shoot up Waffle House". <facepalm>

In reply to by Odin

techpriest dirty fingernails Fri, 04/27/2018 - 18:25 Permalink

Shooters are going after soft targets. If you reach above a certain level of wealth, it is de facto required to have a security team. Even if you are a nice guy, there are those who will want to kidnap you, or who want to whoop you just because you are significant. If you are evil, you already know plenty of people are after you, so you will make it difficult.

Folks like the Waffle House shooter lack the future orientation needed to not go shoot at random strangers in easy targets. By extension, they also lack the capacity and patience to plan out a hit on someone significant (hard target). In some ways that might be a good thing - imagine if he took the time to think up a plan to kill a large number of people.

In reply to by dirty fingernails