Disappointing News Wells Fargo

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staybalanced
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Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by staybalanced »

I have been a customer since 1989, really sad to hear the practices that have been going on there. I have to say, I am not one bit surprised. The few times I have interacted with an employee there, they have always tried to upgrade my account, add accounts etc.

Is anyone considering moving their account? I use a community bank for my business account and have always been very happy. I also have an account with a popular high interest online bank, which begs a second question of if you even need a "physical bank" anymore or would an online bank be fine?

Third note on this, I wonder if Warren b will actually be critical of the situation at Wells. I am reminded of the executive comp issue at coca-cola where he did not throw is weight around. At a minimum some of the leadership should forgo their bonuses.
Angrypuppy
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Angrypuppy »

Safe deposit box, is the only thing that interests me in a local bank branch.
ahmadcpa
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by ahmadcpa »

Many people are now using online banks to service their needs. While this may work for some, you still need a "neighborhood" bank to do the following:

1- Deposit cash
2- Withdraw large amounts of cash
3- Obtain a certified check
4- Safe deposit box

Had it not been for the above, I'd be all over internet banks
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dm200
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by dm200 »

Have any folks been a "victim" of this Wells Fargo "situation"? It is unclear to me, from press reports, whether or not the alleged holders of these fake accounts suffered financial losses. My guess, also, is that it is very unlikely that such "techniques" were or are unique to Wells Fargo. We may soon see other banks (and perhaps credit unions) in the "news" as well. What kind(s) of things might we watch for that could indicate this has happened or is happening to us?
Rainmaker41
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Rainmaker41 »

I minimize inflation risk (to the extent possible) to my cash (distinct from retirement investments) by keeping most of it in online savings. I minimize Internet risk by keeping checking and a decent buffer at a credit union. I minimize mega bank shenanigans risk by not using one.

:sharebeer
BlueCable
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by BlueCable »

ahmadcpa wrote:Many people are now using online banks to service their needs. While this may work for some, you still need a "neighborhood" bank to do the following:

1- Deposit cash
2- Withdraw large amounts of cash
3- Obtain a certified check
4- Safe deposit box

Had it not been for the above, I'd be all over internet banks
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Maverick3320
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Maverick3320 »

OP,

What are the benefits of using a large bank? I've always used my local credit union, and It's been a great experience. The few times I've had to deal with larger financial institutions - lately, Chase - it has been a dumpster fire, and I do everything in my power to stay away. I do use a "larger" institution (PenFed) for their awesome rewards card and my mortgage, but that's about it.
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triceratop
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by triceratop »

dm200 wrote:Have any folks been a "victim" of this Wells Fargo "situation"? It is unclear to me, from press reports, whether or not the alleged holders of these fake accounts suffered financial losses. My guess, also, is that it is very unlikely that such "techniques" were or are unique to Wells Fargo. We may soon see other banks (and perhaps credit unions) in the "news" as well. What kind(s) of things might we watch for that could indicate this has happened or is happening to us?
Wells Fargo shareholders.

OP,

I am closing my Wells Fargo (formerly, Wachovia) account due to this. Fwiw, I have found much better service at Charles Schwab.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."
Topic Author
staybalanced
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by staybalanced »

triceratop wrote:
dm200 wrote:Have any folks been a "victim" of this Wells Fargo "situation"? It is unclear to me, from press reports, whether or not the alleged holders of these fake accounts suffered financial losses. My guess, also, is that it is very unlikely that such "techniques" were or are unique to Wells Fargo. We may soon see other banks (and perhaps credit unions) in the "news" as well. What kind(s) of things might we watch for that could indicate this has happened or is happening to us?
Wells Fargo shareholders.

OP,

I am closing my Wells Fargo (formerly, Wachovia) account due to this. Fwiw, I have found much better service at Charles Schwab.
Interesting. I wish Vanguard had the banking services like fido and schwab, I have considered moving from vanguard for this reason but have also been with vanguard for a long time. I will probably do nothing because I have so many things tied to my checking at wells that I would have to update, but I will continue to ponder.
furwut
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by furwut »

InvestorAdam wrote: Interesting. I wish Vanguard had the banking services like fido and schwab, I have considered moving from vanguard for this reason but have also been with vanguard for a long time. I will probably do nothing because I have so many things tied to my checking at wells that I would have to update, but I will continue to ponder.
I think I prefer Vanguard concentrate on what they do best. For friendly local banking needs I'd use a credit union. For ease of use and better rates I'd use an online bank. I really can't think why your average Joe/Jane would want to ever deal with a Mega Bank - especially given their repeated history of stiffing the customers at every turn.
BlueCable
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by BlueCable »

I grew up in rural midwest and have always used credit unions. It wasn't until my 20s and a trip to Chicago that I realized banks like Chase, BoA, and Citigroup were physical places you could walk into and make deposits. :oops:
friar1610
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by friar1610 »

Maverick3320 wrote:OP,

What are the benefits of using a large bank? I've always used my local credit union, and It's been a great experience. The few times I've had to deal with larger financial institutions - lately, Chase - it has been a dumpster fire, and I do everything in my power to stay away. I do use a "larger" institution (PenFed) for their awesome rewards card and my mortgage, but that's about it.

I use a large, national CU (NFCU) as my primary "bank". But I keep about $2500 in a small, local bank and have an ATM card there. That way if I need to cash a check locally or make a quick cash withdrawal I have the means of doing so. Actually, we just switched to a different checking account at NFCU that credits you back for ATM fees up to a certain level, so even the local bank's ATM card is no longer necessary. But I feel better having some nearby money I can reach out and touch. NFCU worked fine throughout my Navy career and there's been no reason to change since I retired some 20 years ago.

I used to have a safe deposit box at that local bank but I have since bought a home safe so I don't even use that any more.
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fcox85
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by fcox85 »

dm200 wrote:Have any folks been a "victim" of this Wells Fargo "situation"? It is unclear to me, from press reports, whether or not the alleged holders of these fake accounts suffered financial losses. My guess, also, is that it is very unlikely that such "techniques" were or are unique to Wells Fargo. We may soon see other banks (and perhaps credit unions) in the "news" as well. What kind(s) of things might we watch for that could indicate this has happened or is happening to us?
I do not really consider myself a "victim," but shortly after we left Wells Fargo for a smaller institution, WF opened a credit card in the name of my wife's small business without seeking any sort of written authorization. When we closed our accounts, we were informed that closing the card would require calling a particular customer service number and that they could not handle closing the account in the branch. We got the information and let it fall by the wayside. A few months later, we were hit with some sort of fee on the card. We immediately called customer service, had them waive the fee, and closed the card.
protagonist
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by protagonist »

My Fidelity money market account is my primary checking account. I keep a few thousand dollars in it to meet my monthly expenses. No ATM fees, and if I accidentally overdraw I only pay margin interest (trivial). rather than usurious penalties. It seamlessly works with my investment accounts and I get only one statement to deal with at tax time. Plus I have experienced excellent customer service at Fidelity.

I use SFGI Direct (1.06% APY) online banking to store my excess cash above and beyond what I keep in Fidelity. When I need cash I do an EFT to Fidelity, usually about once a month....generally goes through the same day, always within one business day.

I have a local bank account that I use as a temporary holding place for occasionally depositing checks before EFT to Fidelity, as well as for those functions of banking better done in person. My account typically holds less than a dollar.

I currently have accounts at Chase, Citi, TD and Capitalone 360 as well, but only for the purpose of collecting generous promotional offers. Once I collect the bonuses (typically about 3-4 months) I will close these accounts.
BeerTooth
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by BeerTooth »

I wouldn't make the assumption that an online bank is any less prone to fraud than a brick and mortar MegaBank. The reason you hear about WF was the scale of the fraud, which is proportional to the scale of their footprint. Credit Unions may be less prone to shenanigans but there have been plenty examples of fraud and embezzlement from insiders there as well. Human greed and proximity to money has a predictable effect.
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dm200
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by dm200 »

Credit Unions may be less prone to shenanigans but there have been plenty examples of fraud and embezzlement from insiders there as well
Unfortunately, this is absolutely true. It is "scary" when you personally know such folks who hite the "news" about credit union fraud/embezzlement. I know (or have known) several such folks who served time in prison or have committed suicide.
123
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by 123 »

The Wells Fargo news indicates a pervasive problem that went on over a number of years. Messing around with financial records for an organization that has deposits insured by the FDIC should have merited a lot higher penalty, I think that the Wells Fargo banking license/charter for the right to do retail banking in California should have been revoked. Only with the strongest of penalties is appropriate to set the example in this care.

Would the loss of the Wells Fargo retail banking system in California cause the corporate entity financial hardship. Yes, that's the point. There needs to be something done to wake the corporate Board of Directors and executives up.
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lostdog
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by lostdog »

Your local Credit Union will work just fine.
FedGuy
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by FedGuy »

Maverick3320 wrote:What are the benefits of using a large bank?
I'm not the OP, but I use a big bank. To be honest, that's mostly inertia--they've served my needs adequately since I was in school and I never felt a need to consider a switch--but I've benefited from their large footprint. I've lived in two major cities that had numerous branches of my bank, in each case near both my home and office, so I could easily get to the branch for whatever I needed. There's a branch near one of my preferred supermarkets that has generous Saturday hours, so if I ever need to head to the branch on a weekend, off I go. The bank has branches in several foreign cities, so when I travel overseas it's usually a simple matter to get foreign currency at a preferred rate and take care of any other issues.

I used a credit union back when I was in school (before switching to my current bank) and they were fine, and everyone there was nice, but their very limited geographic footprint ruled them out as a viable option for me once I moved out of town.
Bmac
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Bmac »

If anything, now would seem to be the best time to be at Wells Fargo. Highly incentivized to mind their Ps and Qs. I've been with WF for close to 30 years and have always received fine service.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by abuss368 »

We transitioned to Wells Fargo a few month ago and thus far have been extremely satisfied with the service and online portal.
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Whakamole
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Whakamole »

Bmac wrote:If anything, now would seem to be the best time to be at Wells Fargo. Highly incentivized to mind their Ps and Qs. I've been with WF for close to 30 years and have always received fine service.
Except they've been hit with a lot of penalties recently. You can browse their Wikipedia page for what may be a comprehensive list. If getting nailed for steering minorities into higher priced loans, laundering money for drug traffickers, selling mortgage-backed securities without acknowledging risk, etc. didn't stop them from pulling this stunt - if anything they will get more brazen.
Erwin
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Erwin »

Fraud can only be prevented when the consequences hurt so much that those thinking about committing it, think twice
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TropikThunder
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by TropikThunder »

Maverick3320 wrote: What are the benefits of using a large bank?
I swore I would never use a large, national bank after most of them foreclosed on deployed military members. And since most credit unions are members of their national association, no matter where I am I can walk into a credit union branch and do whatever banking I need to.
TravelGeek
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by TravelGeek »

Erwin wrote:Fraud can only be prevented when the consequences hurt so much that those thinking about committing it, think twice
Yes. I don't get the feeling that the current fines/settlements are sufficient. At what level of management did the buck stop?
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by pascalwager »

In the past, Wells Fargo encouraged me to add accounts. I only remember that one account would have been especially useful if I were traveling in Central America, which was unlikely, and another if I decided to purchase Vanguard funds through Wells Fargo. Another account served as a hub for four other accounts. So I finally insisted that the new accounts be closed and returned to the simplicity of my two original accounts.

I do like the Wells Fargo smooth functioning online services. And I can't remember discovering a Wells Fargo error during the last 36 years. Also, the bank reps seem competent and are helpful.

Will I change banks or use a credit union? I'm thinking a little about doing it now, after the scandal, but my own experience with Wells Fargo has been positive.
cheesepep
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by cheesepep »

Note: I don't bank at wells but I do at one of their competitors. Also own shares of both companies.

Recently a shareholder of wells and have been disappointed. I'm usually a long term shareholder but I'm thinking to sell when it goes back up and place the. Obey into their competitor.
BeerTooth
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by BeerTooth »

cheesepep wrote:Note: I don't bank at wells but I do at one of their competitors. Also own shares of both companies.

Recently a shareholder of wells and have been disappointed. I'm usually a long term shareholder but I'm thinking to sell when it goes back up and place the. Obey into their competitor.

And it's a near certainty that their competitor is, as we speak, engaging in some illegal, unethical, and immoral scam or scheme to defraud and steal from their own customers. Such is the world we are living in.
sixty40
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by sixty40 »

My mom used up be a teller at a big bank, since retired. Every so often she was given quotas on opening new accounts each month, with the threat of termination but never exactly stated as such. She was stressed many times. All my brothers and I opened accounts there just so she can meet the quota. We opened Savings accts, checking accts, CDs, etc so she can get credit. Probably happens at every big and maybe even smaller banks. It can push the tellers to do the wrong things.

As I recall she never really mentioned anyone ever got fired for not meeting quotas, but she did mention they were all stressed out about it, so she just decided to retire.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by TomatoTomahto »

FedGuy wrote:
Maverick3320 wrote:What are the benefits of using a large bank?
I'm not the OP, but I use a big bank. To be honest, that's mostly inertia--they've served my needs adequately since I was in school and I never felt a need to consider a switch...
Inertia for us also. We have so many autopays set up, and online banking, and easy peasy transfers to the kids' accounts, that it would be a PITA to switch. I'd do it if there were some compelling reason, but BoA serves our needs well enough.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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teen persuasion
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by teen persuasion »

TomatoTomahto wrote:
FedGuy wrote:
Maverick3320 wrote:What are the benefits of using a large bank?
I'm not the OP, but I use a big bank. To be honest, that's mostly inertia--they've served my needs adequately since I was in school and I never felt a need to consider a switch...
Inertia for us also. We have so many autopays set up, and online banking, and easy peasy transfers to the kids' accounts, that it would be a PITA to switch. I'd do it if there were some compelling reason, but BoA serves our needs well enough.
We've been with a smallish regional bank, and been very happy. Now we have a compelling reason to run right into that PITA to switch : the KeyBorg assimilation of FNFG. We were hoping we'd be among the lucky few switched to another regional (they got the flagship branch in a forced sell-out, and we use that branch), but, no, our accounts are "owned" by another branch that will be assimilated, and probably closed in a short time if the KeyBorg follows its established MO.

We intend to switch to regional bank before the assimilation goes thru.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Ricola »

I would like to get my accounts out of there but don't want to pay them over $1000 in punishment fees to move my accounts. :annoyed
jdilla1107
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by jdilla1107 »

When I was younger, I opened a simple checking account at Wells Fargo. The person who opened my account really pushed to open a savings account to get higher rates for short term savings. Then they really pushed me to open a second savings account for even higher rates for longer term money. They told me it didn't cost anything to open these or maintain these, so I did. (It never did cost me anything.)

Over the years, I accumulated more assets and have a PMA relationship now.

Awhile ago, I realized these savings accounts were pointless and went to close them. It costs $100 to close each of them. The rep recommended I just keep them open. So, they have been sitting there with $0.50 balance for about 18 months now. I would not be surprised if my two accounts are sitting on their books as a $200 asset.

Nothing at WF has cost me any fees (yet), but it's become obvious that they really base their core metrics on "number of accounts open".
Last edited by jdilla1107 on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ricola
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Ricola »

jdilla1107 wrote:Nothing at WF has cost me any fees (yet), but it's become obvious that they really base their core metrics on "number of accounts open".
Its a trap, they get you in easy, but punish you hard if you try to leave.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by jdilla1107 »

Ricola wrote:
jdilla1107 wrote:Nothing at WF has cost me any fees (yet), but it's become obvious that they really base their core metrics on "number of accounts open".
Its a trap, they get you in easy, but punish you hard if you try to leave.
I actually don't mind it this way as opposed to annual fees or other hidden fees. I have been very happy with them for the last 10 years. Wells fargo was an early adopter of totally free brokerage.

The day they start trying to add some sort of ongoing fees, is the day I'll move to vanguard though.
btenny
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by btenny »

I have several accounts with Wells and a PMA relationship and a big investment account. I have been a customer for 45+ years. Last year I closed a old savings account I had owned for years. I think it had $215 or so in it. There was no service charge. They just closed it. I did get a statement showing a zero balance for a few months until the end of 2015. Maybe you should ask again about closing accounts.

Good Luck.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Ricola »

btenny wrote:I have several accounts with Wells and a PMA relationship and a big investment account. I have been a customer for 45+ years. Last year I closed a old savings account I had owned for years. I think it had $215 or so in it. There was no service charge. They just closed it. I did get a statement showing a zero balance for a few months until the end of 2015. Maybe you should ask again about closing accounts.

Good Luck.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by myford.m.lseven »

Re punishment fees.....

I recently moved sizeable investment accounts, (401k and after tax) from Wells Fargo wealth management to Fidelity for my Mom. It hurt at first to see the 100.00 account transfer fee and closure fees but I was also surprised to see the bonus fidelity gave for opening the new accounts. 1300 for an investment account and 1200 for the IRA. The bonuses more than made up for the punishment fees Wells Fargo charged.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Alan S. »

Of the Wells bogus accounts, what % were issued to actual people rather than fictitious people?
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heartwood
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by heartwood »

We have our mortgage at WF.

I'm a mega corp retiree. I'm amazed and appalled at the WF CEO's statement that it was the employees fault. Where are the controls, where is the cultural ethos for the company. The BOD should fire the CEO. Perhaps the BOD should consider replacing responsible management. In theory the COO is running the shop, but the BOD and CEO are responsible. To blame the employees without accepting responsibility is unfathomable to me.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by furwut »

Wells Fargo is receiving a $180 million fine. And it is, apparently, firing 5,300 employees who were involved. But then there is this ...
But Carrie Tolstedt, the head of Wells Fargo’s Community Banking division where those 5,300 people toiled, will be retiring with a $125 million compensation package.
That is what we call accountability :oops:. I hope she can pay the bills and keep the electric on.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Ricola »

heartwood wrote:We have our mortgage at WF.

I'm a mega corp retiree. I'm amazed and appalled at the WF CEO's statement that it was the employees fault. Where are the controls, where is the cultural ethos for the company. The BOD should fire the CEO. Perhaps the BOD should consider replacing responsible management. In theory the COO is running the shop, but the BOD and CEO are responsible. To blame the employees without accepting responsibility is unfathomable to me.
Agree!, he keeps saying he's accountable and responsible, but takes no action against himself. This seems to be the norm for leadership now days. They take the money and power as if it was an earned right...they have now entered upper class royalty, winner take all, but never need to be accountable. And the labor force has no voice at all. Feels like we are going backwards in time.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by abuss368 »

I did read an article discussing the potential breakup on the bank. Hopefully not and the possible fallout to the markets that may result.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Whakamole »

furwut wrote:Wells Fargo is receiving a $180 million fine. And it is, apparently, firing 5,300 employees who were involved. But then there is this ...
But Carrie Tolstedt, the head of Wells Fargo’s Community Banking division where those 5,300 people toiled, will be retiring with a $125 million compensation package.
That is what we call accountability :oops:. I hope she can pay the bills and keep the electric on.
Technically WF isn't paying it, the shareholders are (and most of us are, either directly or through a mutual fund that holds Wells Fargo or it's largest shareholder, Berkshire Hathaway.)

To get back to actionable: if you are a shareholder, vote out the BOD (since they seem to be tolerating this behavior.)
stan1
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by stan1 »

The executives all have performance based compensation as well. They were fine with this until the serfs got caught just as they were fine with loan agents marking up mortgage applications with phony income back in 2004/2005. Incentives often end up rewarding unwanted bad behavior.
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by Earl Lemongrab »

myford.m.lseven wrote:I recently moved sizeable investment accounts, (401k and after tax) from Wells Fargo wealth management to Fidelity for my Mom. It hurt at first to see the 100.00 account transfer fee and closure fees but I was also surprised to see the bonus fidelity gave for opening the new accounts. 1300 for an investment account and 1200 for the IRA. The bonuses more than made up for the punishment fees Wells Fargo charged.
If you get charged a fee for transferring out, it's worth checking with the receiving custodian to see if they will reimburse that in addition to the bonus.

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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by abuss368 »

Ricola wrote:I would like to get my accounts out of there but don't want to pay them over $1000 in punishment fees to move my accounts. :annoyed
How is that possible?
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telemark
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by telemark »

dm200 wrote:
Credit Unions may be less prone to shenanigans but there have been plenty examples of fraud and embezzlement from insiders there as well
Unfortunately, this is absolutely true. It is "scary" when you personally know such folks who hite the "news" about credit union fraud/embezzlement. I know (or have known) several such folks who served time in prison or have committed suicide.
Credit unions have a Vanguard-like structure in that the members are also the owners. No business is immune from rogue employees, but a situation like the one at Wells Fargo, where the driving force was upper management pushing for higher profits, is unlikely to occur at a credit union.

Disclaimer: my employer provides software to credit unions.
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Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by star9 »

I disagree with the writer who said he wished Vanguard had a bank. I believe it's fortunate Vanguard doesn't have a bank--makes it a more stable financial institution as far as I'm concerned.
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JMacDonald
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

Post by JMacDonald »

I am glad I have been with a credit union for over 30 years. I am amazed that people stay with these big banks considering their fees and behavior.
Best Wishes, | Joe
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