Los Angeles city attorneys are going after Wells Fargo in a lawsuit filed in a California Superior Court, CBS reported. The suit claims that the bank’s employees opened unauthorized accounts in the names of their customers, charging them with multiple fees that caused damage to their credit scores.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer alleges Wells Fargo of fraudulent activity, in the civil complaint filed on Monday.
“In order to achieve its goal of selling a high number of ‘solutions’ to each customer, Wells Fargo imposes unrealistic sales quotas on its employees, and has adopted policies that have, predictably and naturally, driven its bankers to engage in fraudulent behavior to meet those unreachable goals.”
Wells Fargo, though, says that the cause of those incidents were the fault of a few employees that had since faced disciplinary action or had been fired.
In a statement from Wells Fargo, the bank defended its business practices.
“Wells Fargo’s culture is focused on the best interests of its customers and creating a supportive, caring and ethical environment for our team members… This includes training, audits and processes that work together to support our ‘Vision & Values’ and our commitment to customers receiving only the products and services they need and will benefit from.”
The suit claims that the bank did very little to prevent the alleged incidents from occurring and that the bank did not do enough to rectify the incidents, ABC reported.
“The result is that Wells Fargo has generated a virtual fee-generating machine, through which its customers are harmed, its employees take the blame, and Wells Fargo reaps the profit,”
“On the rare occasions when Wells Fargo did take action against its employees for unethical sales conduct, Wells Fargo further victimized its customers by failing to inform them of the breaches, refund fees they were owed, or otherwise remedy the injuries that Wells Fargo and its bankers have caused,”
In a press conference on Tuesday, Feuer warned Wells Fargo customers of potential unauthorized accounts in their name.
“We urge every Wells Fargo customer to review with care their banking accounts and records… See if there are any unauthorized checking and saving accounts in their name. Have accounts they closed remained opened?”
According to one Wells Fargo customer, the bank had opened several accounts in his name charging him between $15 and $20 for each account. Small business owner Frank Ahn says that 10 accounts were opened in his name despite only having authorized one account.
Ahn talked about his ordeal with Wells Fargo.
“They kept making promises and said, ‘We won’t charge you any fees. This is it.’ I thought it was the end of it, but it wasn’t. I wanted to trust them, but now I know I can’t… This kept going back and forth for two or three years,”
Wells Fargo did not comment on the Ahn’s specific case. This suit is not the first one Wells Fargo has faced in recent years. Late last year, Wells Fargo was sued for discrimination against female and minority customers, as reported by the Inquisitr.