The city of Los Angeles has filed suit against Wells Fargo Bank for allegedly opening accounts and issuing credit cards to unwitting customers in an effort to meet rigid bank-set sales quotas.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit, which was filed in California by LA city attorney Mike Feuer, claims that Wells Fargo employees opened unauthorized accounts, which led to bogus fees, credit score issues and big headaches for customers.
“The result is that Wells Fargo has generated a virtual fee-generating machine, through which its customers are harmed, its employees take the blame, and Wells Fargo reaps the profit,” the lawsuit said.
Wells Fargo blamed a few rogue employees for the fraudulent activity, the LAT said. But the lawsuit claims that the bank did little to prevent such customer abuses.
“On the rare occasions when Wells Fargo did take action against its employees for unethical sales conduct, Wells Fargo further victimized its customers by failing to inform them of the breaches, refund fees they were owed, or otherwise remedy the injuries that Wells Fargo and its bankers have caused,” the suit said.
KABC reports that Wells Fargo plans to defend itself against the allegations of fraud.
“Wells Fargo’s culture is focused on the best interests of its customers and creating a supportive, caring and ethical environment for our team members,” the bank said in a statement. “This includes training, audits and processes that work together to support our vision and values and our commitment to customers receiving only the products and services they need and will benefit from.”
The lawsuit seeks penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation and restitution for victims of the scheme.
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