Wells Fargo CEO Refuses To Resign After Massive Fraud Exposed

Wells Fargo. Photo By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) - Own work, GFDL,

Wells Fargo. Photo By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) - Own work, GFDL,

It’s not just a few bad apples. Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in the world, has been fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators for secretly opening accounts without authorization from customers to boost sales goals and subsequently receive bonuses.

Around 5,300 employees were fired in connection to the fraud, which saw Wells Fargo customers receive numerous bank services they never asked for, like credit cards, online banking, deposit accounts, and debit cards. Employees who wanted to increase their sales numbers used privileged customer information to apply and/or acquire the products and services without the customers’ knowledge.

Among the violations cited by the CFPB were:

Not surprisingly, many people have called for Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf to resign amid the revelations. But Stumpf told CNBC he has no plans to resign because he thinks “the best thing I could do right now is lead this company, and lead this company forward.” So the cure for bad leadership is more of the same leadership?

Stumpf then went on to defend his company’s values by saying, “We are sorry. We deeply regret any situation where a customer got a product they did not request. There is nothing in our culture, nothing in our vision and values that would support that. It’s just the opposite. Our goal is to make it right by a customer every time, 100 percent, and if we don’t do that, we feel accountable.”

Except, you know, it wasn’t. The fraud was clearly part of the corporate culture as 5,300 employees engaged in the criminal activity.

Of course, it was the low-level employees who got canned and blamed. The Wells Fargo executive in charge of the banking unit that committed the crimes, Carrie Tolstedt, is retiring at the end of the year with $95 million in accumulated stock and options.

Considering how well her unit hit its sales targets, it’s only fair.

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