(Washington, D.C.) NACA Founder and CEO Bruce Marks, along with several Wells Fargo customers who have been wronged by the bank’s predatory actions will be in attendance on Tuesday as Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan testifies before the Senate Banking Committee.
The seeds of Wells’ predatory culture were sown in 1998, when Norwest Banks took over Wells Fargo in what was deceptively called a merger of equals,. Norwest CEO Dick Kovacevich took over at the ‘new’ Wells Fargo, putting his own team in place, including his protégé and future CEO John Stumpf. Norwest simply took on the Wells Fargo name to deflect its already poor reputation as a predatory lender with an overly-aggressive sales organization.
These practices have been at the core of Wells Fargo’s way of doing business for nearly two decades. It is so deeply ingrained that there is no way the board of directors could NOT have known. Therefore, the following actions must be taken.
- A monitor must be appointed to oversee the redirection of Wells Fargo and the delivery of justice to those who have been harmed.
- Mandatory arbitration must be eliminated to allow the legal process to be pursued by both customers and employees.
- Well’s unsatisfactory CRA rating must require Wells to do portfolio lending for low-moderate-income borrowers. Currently 100% of these mortgages are through government entities and only wealthy borrowers get the flexibility of portfolio loans.
“The predatory foundation of Wells Fargo’s policies and operations dates back well before the fake account scandal, the Great Recession or even the housing bubble”, says Bruce Marks NACA’s CEO. “We are not only seeking justice for the millions of people financially harmed by Wells Fargo’s actions and its many employees ,” Marks continued, “but we are also seeking a monitor to oversee Wells’ operations, to ensure that proper and full restitution on is made to all Wells Fargo customers who were harmed and to make sure that all of Wells Fargo’s predatory activities have been uncovered and resolved.”
Sloan is expected to face difficult questioning from the Committee regarding Wells’ greed-based policies and practices, including:
- Creation of 3.5 million fake accounts
- Extremely high pressure on employees to sell products, causing stress-related illnesses among thousands of their own employees.
- Force-placed auto insurance on vehicles that already had the amount of insurance coverage required under the terms of their Wells Fargo auto loans.
- Unauthorized, “stealth” modifications on thousands of Wells Fargo mortgages, many extending the term of the loan to 40 years without the homeowners’ knowledge or consent, resulting in thousands of dollars of extra interest and fees.
- Delaying processing of mortgage applications and then falsifying records in order to charge additional fees to extend interest rate lock-ins.
- Punitive actions up to and including termination of employment against whistleblowers who reported the bank’s predatory and illegal activities.