Wells Fargo's Fake Account Tally Just Got Much Bigger

Third-party firm's analysis is completed
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2017 9:53 AM CDT
Wells Fargo Uncovers Another 1.4M Questionable Accounts
This April 11, 2017, photo shows a Wells Fargo bank in Jackson, Miss.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Roughly a year ago, the news broke that Wells Fargo employees—5,300 of whom were fired—opened 2.1 million phony deposit or credit card accounts in a bid to reach sales targets and get bonuses. On Thursday, the bank announced a third-party firm has finished reviewing 165 million accounts opened between January 2009 and September 2016 and has jacked the total of potential fake accounts up 67%, to 3.5 million, reports Bloomberg. CNBC reports the initial count was based on a narrower review of a four-year period; the new review found about 450,000 additional accounts from that period and nearly 1 million more from the expanded years. Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan called the completion of the review an "important milestone" as the company works to "make things right for our customers."

CNNMoney reports the estimate of accounts that were hit with inappropriate fees was raised from 130,000 to 190,000. The analysis also surfaced a new issue: roughly half a million potentially unauthorized online bill-pay enrollments. Wells Fargo will refund customers $910,000 in relation to those enrollments; another $6.1 million will be refunded in connection with the unauthorized bank and credit card accounts, a figure that was previously $3.3 million. Said Sloan in a media conference call, per Bloomberg: "Today's announcement is a reminder of the disappointment that we caused to our customers and stakeholders. We apologize to everyone who was harmed." (August has been a rough month for Wells Fargo.)

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