Former Wells Fargo employees are now saying the fraudulent activity did not start in 2011 as the bank’s executives are saying. The fraud started years earlier, perhaps as early as 2007, which means the Wells Fargo executives lied again.  See Letter warned Wells Fargo of ‘widespread’ fraud in 2007.

Why should this fraud be taken seriously even if you are not a customer of Wells Fargo Bank?

Bank Culture

The fraud was based on a culture that put the bank’s interests ahead of its customers’ interests.

A bank’s culture starts at the top of the organization and works its way down. Bank tellers do not create the culture of the organizations they work for.

Because the culture starts at the top it can permeate all of the bank’s businesses, not just retail banking.

John Stumpf may have taken the bullet, but virtually all of the executives who implemented the culture still work at the bank.

The Winners

Notwithstanding the 5,300 bank employees who eventually lost their jobs, they committed fraudulent acts to keep their jobs and their managers earned substantial bonuses for meeting their sales quotas.

Meanwhile, the executives who managed the bank’s operations received six and seven figure bonuses for achieving their goals.

The Losers

The losers are not just the bank customers who were victimized by unauthorized accounts and fees. It is all of the bank’s customers who trusted the bank to deliver high quality, ethical services.

Now they know this was not the case for millions of Wells Fargo customers.

The Headlines

You have seen the headlines. Every major bank in the U.S. and foreign banks operating in the U.S. have been fined billions of dollars for ripping off their clients.

Why not cheat to win? The executives who run these “too big to fail” institutions operate with impunity that is purchased from equally corrupt politicians.

Corruption occurs when there is no accountability.

If that is not bad enough, after the fines are paid, these executives continue to run the organizations that were allowed to pay the mega-fines without admitting any guilt for their actions.

Should You Worry? 

Yes, corruption directly and indirectly impacts everyone.