A collaborative blog of WSJ analysis related to International Marketing!
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
How Wells Fargo’s Problems Flourished in Arizona
A letter sent to Wells Fargo management by an anonymous Arizona employee indicates regional executives played a role in the spread of the sales practices behind the bank’s recent scandal
A Wells Fargo & Co. employee letter to top executives cites allegedly questionable practices in its Arizona region. The letter, sent anonymously, suggests how bad behavior in one part of the bank may have spread to other parts of the country, fueling its sales-practices scandal.
The letter, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, claims that regional executives who oversaw bank branches in Arizona encouraged bankers to lead customers to open multiple products or to find ways to open accounts without customers’ specific knowledge.
Arizona was one epicenter of questionable practices at Wells Fargo that led to a regulatory enforcement action against the bank, public outrage and the abrupt exit of its chief executive. The bank hasn’t admitted or denied wrongdoing but is in the process of refunding as many as 2.1 million customers impacted by the questionable sales practices over the past five years. It also is investigating behavior two years beyond that.
The letter from a bank manager was sent late last month to Mary Mack, who in July took over as Wells Fargo’s head of retail banking, as well as human-resources executives and a “code of ethics” email address.