By Ruthie DiTucci
Back in 2016, The Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal were first revealed when its own employees began reaching out to the authorities. Like hundreds of other writers, I too wrote and published an article about my disappointment that such a well known Bank had pressured thousands of their employees into breaking the law.
WELLS FARGO EMPLOYEES CREATED FAKE ACCOUNTS
It was reported that the Wells Fargo employees were pressured daily with quotas. The pressure resulted in the employees creating 2 million+ fake accounts using the confidential information of the bank’s own customers without the customers’ knowledge or consent. The fake accounts were created by bank employees who were under pressure to meet unrealistic sales targets.
Wells Fargo & Company and its subsidiary, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., agreed to pay $3 billion in fines to resolve their criminal and civil liability stemming from a practice between 2002 and 2016 of pressuring employees to meet extraordinary sales numbers. The pressure led thousands of employees to provide millions of accounts or products to customers under false pretenses or without consent.
John Stumpf was Wells Fargo’s CEO at the time and while he was banned for life from working in the banking industry, was fined $17.5 Million dollars and forfeited his multi-million dollar bonus but he did no jail time.
John Stumpf left Wells Fargo with his $134 million retirement package intact. He now lives in a 4,000 sq. ft. home near Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
NOW BANK OF AMERICA AND ZELLE ARE BEING QUESTIONED
Now it appears that Bank of America has more or less committed a similar crime. They have been charged with pressuring their employees into creating fake accounts. Basically, they have repeated the same nefarious activity committed by Wells Fargo back in 2016.
Last week, Bank of America was fined $250 Million Dollars by Consumer Financial Protection, for conducting the exact criminal activity that Wells Fargo committed and was charged for in 2016.
Bank of America executives basically repeated the behavior of Wells Fargo executives by pressuring their employees into opening fake bank accounts and charging their own customers illegal junk fees. Bank of America has been steadily paying fines for illegal credit card practices.
Personally, I enjoy working on many other projects and other businesses requiring a multitude of documentation and all of it has to be verified via Due Diligence. I’ve experienced many a time when something crosses my desk which is clearly untenable.
And through the years, I have personally sat through many discussions with executives (both domestically and from overseas) where I calmly request information that governments, banks and financial institutions routinely require but the request is refused and denied. Obviously, the individual does not recognize or chooses to disregard the law.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
When working on a project and an individual attempts to pressure the project along through insults and intimidation, do not respond. Remain silent while the other party spews insults and threatens. Recently, it has become popular to make menacing and alarming statements in order to gain control of a conversation in an attempt to force people to participate in an activity that is illegitimate.
Last year, one of my business associates from overseas was offered a bank document. The associate actually purchased the document because it looked legitimate. But the last thing the issuer expected was that I would write to the issuing bank to verify the document (which turned out to be false). My gut instinct and decades writing about injustices and general events has served me well.
If you work at a financial institution, bank or any corporation, in fact if you work at any job, and a proposal crosses your desk that defies your life experience and your logic, go by your gut instincts and intuition. Listen to that little voice inside you that tells you “something is not right here.”
ARTICLES ABOUT UNEXPECTED OUTAGES AT JPMORGAN CHASE HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED BY YAHOO! FINANCE, FORTUNE, ASSOCIATED PRESS AND SNN.BZ
JPMorgan Chase released a statement the last week of July 2023 confirming that the bank experienced (and was quickly solving) service issues in accepting and sending deposits and payments (then quickly withdrew the statement).
In their statement they also mention that their Zelle connection had also been affected. The article has already been published by The Associated Press and Fortune Magazine. [Clicking the images below will take you directly to the FORTUNE and or the ASSOCIATED PRESS Articles] Both articles used the same cover image. At SyndicatedNews the article was published July 29, 2023. Yahoo! Finance published its article on July 27, 2023. Fortune published its article on July 26, 2023 and the Associated Press published its article on July 25, 2023.
This past Wednesday, across the world, one of Bank of America’s business products, (Zelle) created millions of dollars in withdrawals at Zelle accounts all over the United States and in many other parts of the world. The event shook up enough bank executives to truly enact their Due Diligence and many transactions (both domestic and international) were frozen in their tracks
Another thing to watch out for when working with possible investors is their vocabulary and demeanor. When you are working on a project and a highly positioned executive uses inferior language and an aggressive demeanor.
There is no room for threats, insults, intimidation or base and common language and vocabulary in business. There is no room or excuse for what does not belong in a meeting. When something or someone is out of place – it is because they do not belong there.
Do not make excuses for or accept crudity in business. If you have to apologize for your partner’s conduct and language – you are with the wrong people!
All images in this article are legally licensed by Shutterstock to SyndicatedNews.