Rigid sales quotas at Wells Fargo Bank have driven employees to open unauthorized accounts for customers, sticking them with bogus fees and damaging their credit, according to a city of Los Angeles lawsuit that echoes a Times investigation.
The civil complaint, filed Monday in state court in Los Angeles by City Atty. Mike Feuer, says the largest California-based bank encouraged its employees to engage “in unfair, unlawful and fraudulent conduct” through a pervasive culture of high-pressure sales. Employees misused customers' confidential information and often failed to close unauthorized accounts even when customers complained, the suit alleges.
Some employees went so far as to raid client accounts for money to open additional accounts, the suit alleges.
“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 alleges.
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