Consumers expect that major financial institutions treat them fairly, protect our most personal and private financial information, and refrain from elevating profit over our legal rights. All too often, however, banks violate this trust as they pursue sales, growth, and bonuses.
The most recent example of this corporate greed is Wells Fargo Bank, one of the nation’s largest banks. According to USA Today, Wells Fargo has been hit with $185 million in civil penalties for secretly opening millions of unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts, running up fees and other charges for its customers while simultaneously helping its employees achieve sales incentive goals.
In May 2015, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed a civil lawsuit against Wells Fargo, alleging the company victimized consumers by opening customer accounts and issuing credit cards without authorization — then failing to inform customers of the allegedly fraudulent misuse of their personal information or to refund fees for unwanted services.
The complaint further alleged that Wells Fargo’s business model imposed unrealistic sales quotas that, among other things, drove employees to engage in unlawful activity including opening fee-generating customer accounts and adding unwanted secondary accounts to primary accounts without permission. These deceptive sales practices led to significant hardship and financial loss to consumers, including having money withdrawn from customers’ authorized accounts to pay for fees assessed by Wells Fargo on unauthorized accounts and derogatory notes on credit reports when unauthorized fees went unpaid, causing some customers to purchase identity theft protection.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Group seek your assistance as we ask the following questions in our investigation into similar complaints against other banks and financial institutions:
- Have unauthorized savings or checking accounts been opened in your name?
- Have accounts you’ve closed stayed open?
- Have you received debit or credit cards you didn’t request?
- Has a line of credit been opened that you didn’t ask for?
- Have you been charged fees for any of these unauthorized activities?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have been victimized by your financial institution — the same institution you’ve entrusted with your most personal and private financial information!
We would appreciate speaking to anyone who suspects that he or she has been victimized by their bank. Please contact us today!