Wells Fargo Not The Only Bank Adding Fake Accounts?
Wells Fargo has been getting lets of headlines lately for all the wrong reasons. They created fake accounts for their banking customers to hit quotas. They were even shady on the merchant side of things too. Well it looks like there is a chance they are not alone. I will even give you my personal experience with a bank creating an account without my permission.
Are Other Banks Involved in Fraud?
According to Top Class Actions federal regulators have said other banks are involved in some of the same practices. The regulators would not give specific banks they were looking into but there are lawyers investigating these banks at the moment:
- Bank of America
- BOK Financial
- Capital One
- Royal Bank of Canada
- TD Bank
According to American Banker, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) investigated 40 large and small banks. During the review they found specific examples of banks opening fraudulent accounts without the customer’s knowledge.
After the investigation there were five specific warnings sent out that banks needed to correct industry wide. There were another 250 specific terms regulators wanted corrected at specific, individual banks according to an OCC spokesperson.
My Personal Experience
I had an experience with a bank employee opening an account without my knowledge or consent. I went into a Fifth Third bank a few years ago for a bank bonus they had going on.
The bank employee opened a savings account at the same time I opened my checking account, even though we had never discussed it. He split my deposit across the new account. I didn’t realize this until I got home and logged in online.
The real kicker was it was some “special” savings account that I could not transfer the funds without going to the bank and requesting it. I guess this was put in place to make it harder for people to dip into their savings. That may be a good program for people who can’t resist touching their money but it didn’t work for me. Especially since I never requested it or discussed it.
When I contacted him and said I didn’t want the account, and to move the money to my checking account, he said it couldn’t be closed for six months. He transferred all but $1 over and it sat there until I closed both accounts six months later.
As deregulation continues the banks will continue to push the envelope, just like they did on the way to the great recession. Hopefully the regulators will hit the banks a lot harder than they did Wells Fargo this time around.
This comes on the heels of other banking industry lawsuits, like Bank of America’s recent settlement for overdraft fees. Remember that banking is all about the $$$, that is why many people have moved their accounts to credit unions.