Wells Fargo fires 5,300 employees for opening 2M fake accounts in customers' names


That’s what I estimate they lose naturally every month. (assuming employees stay an average of 5 years at the job)


Looks like that one was published just a couple years after Superman 3.


If you haven’t read them definately worth a look.



Don’t forget that all of their bonuses were “clawed-back” and returned to shareholders.


Science fiction discussion goes here.


According to WF, this behavior doesn’t fit the company’s values.

And what? The subprime mortgage meltdown, steering the poor and people of color towards bad loans, and accepting huge bailouts for horrible business practices does?


That right there tells you that this is fiction!


Much like Volkswagen, no?


Awesome! Reminds me of my first job as a soda jerk- when making a milk shake, put a tab bit more milk and ice cream into the metal tumblers than the customer’s cup can hold, and after a few milkshakes I gots my own milkshake!

Makes me wonder if I could have grown up to be a sociopathic 1%er?


I think it’s actually more likely that they were pumping the numbers to avoid “performance management” and sackings if they didn’t meet their numbers.

It’s only upper management who set the unachievable quotas who are motivated by money and rewards. low-level sales peons need to be motivated by fear and poverty. And they’re also the only ones who get punished when this sort of thing is caught.


In my experience with WF it was a bit more subtle. They would tell you they were going to open one of every type of account, and just wouldn’t take no for an answer. They would set up some automatic transfers so there were no fees to the accounts, at least until wells fargo changed the policies and fees started appearing. It was so obvious what was going on, but the way they played it, it was just easier to go along with the madness than try to stop it. I had 6 accounts at one point when I only needed one. Perhaps 5 years ago they changed their fee policies so it was harder to avoid fees, and I finally got down to just three accounts.


There’s a good quote from the Bloomberg story covering this:

Two basic principles of management, and regulation, and life, are:

  1. You get what you measure.
  2. The thing that you measure will get gamed.

Really that’s just one principle: You get what you measure, but only exactly what you measure. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the more general good thing that you thought you were approximately measuring. If you want hard workers and measure hours worked, you’ll get a lot of workers surfing the internet until midnight. If you want low banking bonuses and measure bonus-to-base-salary ratios, you’ll get high base salaries. Measurement is sort of an evil genie: It grants your wishes, but it takes them just a bit too literally.


Fines geared to income/wealth.

It works far better than fixed-amount penalties.

There’s a reason only loonies and greed-heads want a flat tax. Flat penalties are just as silly.


Shortly before the Patrician came to power there was a terrible plague of rats. The city council countered it by offering twenty pence for every rat tail. This did, for a week or two, reduce the number of rats - and then people were suddenly queuing up with tails, the city treasury was being drained, and no one seemed to be doing much work. And there still seemed to be a lot of rats around. Lord Vetinari had listened carefully while the problem was explained, and had solved the thing with one memorable phrase which said a lot about him, about the folly of bounty offers, and about the natural instinct of Ankh-Morporkians in any situation involving money:
‘Tax the rat farms.’

Soul Music, Terry Pratchett


Ahh, Wells Fargo. I made the mistake of doing business with that gang once many years ago. Not a mistake I would make twice.

With the numbers given (5300 of 265000 employees = 2%, scamming about 3% of their customers for 2 years) a fine of 3% of their income per year for 2 years would be generous. Whether you look at approximately gross 91 billion / year, or net 23 billion, 3% would be 10 digits. 1.5 to 5.5 billion would still be a minor acceptable loss to them. To make it punitive, that would need a multiplier.

5300 employees and 2 million accounts sounds systematic - not a rogue manager or department, but an intentional corporate policy. Firing some scapegoat employees, paying a trivial fine, and giving some of their customers about $2.50 doesn’t seem proportionate.

Would it make more sense to treat WF as an organized crime syndicate conducting large-scale theft and money laundering?

Anyhow, the fine clearly ought to be at least 5 billion, and ought to go to the victims.


WF means that these people it caught were not coughing up tribute to WF

Not giving the bosses their due goes against the family values.

Now, since the bosses were profiting from the underbankster soldier’s dealings anyway, they held their peace until it became more profitable to eat alone for awhile, or at least not with these 5300


My credit union is awesome.

That’s all. You should use one too.


Isn’t that basically what a bank is at present?


There is no force on earth that would get me back to that bank. Their weird shenanigans left me in a tight spot (no cash, far from friends) and fucked up my credit rating. They should be broken up into small, local banks and/or just shut down completely.