ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico- Financial institution Wells Fargo is in hot water again, this time in New Mexico for allegedly opening thousands of fake accounts in the state. The company has been heavily fined for similar activity in the past.
KOAT says that New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas alleges there were 19,000 fake accounts opened up. He said Wells Fargo employees did it because of pressure from higher ups.
“It’s definitely affecting quite a few people — and if they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing that’s a concern,” a Wells Fargo customer said.
Now, a lot of Wells Fargo customers are checking to see if they were victimized by their own bank.
“This is what is so troubling about this practice. These are not aggressive pitches to new consumers. These are already customers of Wells Fargo where they would try to impose additional fees and services and products without their authorization,” Balderas said.
Balderas said he’s been investigating the bank for more than a year and a half.
“These fake accounts generated fees for Wells Fargo padding their bottom line; which I’m convinced went to shareholders or fat cats. These bottom line profits never went to employees and they didn’t go to consumers as well,” Balderas said.
He said if Wells Fargo doesn’t reimburse customers and pay other damages he’ll file a lawsuit against the bank, KOAT reported.
Balderas said if people think they’re a victim he wants to hear from them. You can call (505) 717-3500 or click here to visit the website.
The company released the following statement:
“At Wells Fargo, we remain focused on rebuilding trust and building a better bank. As a company, we have taken significant steps to make things right for our New Mexico customers, team members and communities. These steps include a nationwide class-action settlement agreement that will set aside $142 million for customer remediation and settlement expenses; conducting broad outreach and working directly with customers to resolve issues through our complaints process and free mediation services; completing an expanded third-party review of retail banking accounts dating back to the beginning of 2009 to determine potentially unauthorized accounts and provide refunds and credits to those that incurred fees and charges. We continue to welcome – and encourage – customers with questions or concerns to contact us. Our more than 1,400 team members in New Mexico are committed to the success of our communities.”
In September 2016, Wells Fargo was issued a combined total of $185 million in fines for creating over 1.5 million checking and savings accounts and 500,000 credit cards that its customers never authorized. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued $100 million in fines, the largest in the agency’s five-year history, along with $50 million in fines from the City and County of Los Angeles, and $35 million in fines from the Office of Comptroller of the Currency