ST. LOUIS, MO. - The CEO of Wells Fargo apologized to customers Tuesday after more than two million fake accounts were opened in their names.
CEO John Stumpf’s apology came during a heated Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday. Senators grilled Stumpf, saying he violated customers’ trust.
“Trust is the core element of any relationship and surely in the financial services business," Stumpf recognized. "And we know we have work to do in that area, and I intend to do all I can to help in that area."
Wells Fargo faces $185 million in fines for illegal sales practices. According to the federal allegations, 5,300 Wells Fargo employees forged signatures and stole identities, Social Security numbers and customer's hard earned cash, all to meet sales quotas.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts criticized Wells Fargo's CEO for personally profiting more than $200 million during the time in which these deceptive sales practices took place. She also called for him to resign, give back the $200 million, and said Stumpf should be criminally investigated.
“When it all blew up, you kept your job," Warren said to the CEO. "You kept your multi-million-dollar bonuses and you went on television to blame thousands of $12 an hour employees who were just trying to meet cross sell quotas that made you rich.”
Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania added his thoughts on the incident.
“Signing up customers for products when you know the customer doesn't want the product, failing to notify customers of these sham accounts... this isn't cross selling, this is fraud,” Toomey said.
If you are a Wells Fargo banking customer, how do you know if fake accounts were created in your name?
According to ClearPoint, a non-profit credit counseling agency, you should first contact Wells Fargo and check your accounts. Make sure all your money is accounted for and check for unwarranted fees.
Then, go to the website annualcreditreport.com. It's the official site for free credit reports. Here you'll be able to see all bank accounts opened in your name. If you see any accounts that shouldn't be there, you can dispute them, and your credit score will not be negatively impacted.
If you have been victimized by this Wells Fargo scandal, or have any other credit-related questions, you can talk to ClearPoint's experts for free. They can be reached at 877-877-1995, or online at clearpoint.org.