News Release: Wells Fargo Must Reckon with Record of Harms Against Consumers


June 12, 2021

Carter Dougherty
(202) 251-6700

Wells Fargo Must Reckon with Record of Harms Against Consumers
New scandal tracker highlights a litany of abuses.

Washington, D.C. – Wells Fargo has racked up a record of numerous egregious abuses against its own customers that are detailed in a new scandal tracker released by Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. 

The document, titled “The Misdeeds and Missteps of a Megabank” and available here, provides a thorough snapshot of the bank’s major misdeeds going back as far as 2010 and includes, at this time, 43 entries. The document includes 2016’s bogus account scandal, in which salespersons opened millions of accounts for customers without their consent, records of its executives lying before Congress, discrimination against BIPOC customers, and its most recent run-in with federal authorities, a settlement worth $3.7 billion in penalties and redress in December. 

“With a bank of this size, it’s easy to lose track of all the different ways in which Wells Fargo has done wrong by consumers,” said Carter Dougherty, communications director at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “But time and again, Wells Fargo has proven itself incapable of managing its affairs in a manner that does not abuse consumers. That’s the definition of ‘too big to manage.’”

The fourth largest bank in the United States, which holds $1.9 trillion in assets and provides service to at least one-third of the country’s households as of 2022, has long worked against the interests of its customers and shareholders. 

Wells Fargo’s primary federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has cited the problem of too-big-to-manage banks. But, as AFREF has previously noted, its chief, Michael Hsu, has not yet taken concrete action to address the issue.