I left Wells Fargo a few months ago because I was at odds with the "culture" they try to push on you. I have first hand accounts of closing credit cards and lines of credit that the customer had not asked for, as well as checking and savings accounts that they didn't know even existed. I even know some of the bankers that were utilizing these practices, had reported them, and seen them rewarded and applauded for their practices, instead of reprimanded.


Edit: A lot of people are asking if they should be worried if they have a 401k, auto loan, mortgage, etc. Unless you are in contact with a banker, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Edit #2: This blew up more than I realized. All the little kid's must have gotten out of school because now I'm starting to get messages calling me a criminal and a "scrub that dont know nothin'". I appreciate all the questions and I hope I shed at least a little light on what's going on. Sorry if I didn't get to everyone.

Comments: 1578 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

MaddMarkk767 karma

Given the recent news of fraud accounts, how would I know if my account has been affected?

Fwellsfargo649 karma

Your online banking should help. It would show up there.

MaddMarkk252 karma

As in my statements or an out right message

Fwellsfargo495 karma

You probably wouldn't get a message. I would either pull my credit (free under annualcreditreport.com), check online banking or call the 800 number and make sure nothing else pulls up under your ss#

californiaye102 karma

Former teller from Wells. A banker I worked with would often "hide" the accounts from the online banking view so people wouldn't be able to see them. Are you sure this would really help?

Fwellsfargo74 karma

Yep, I forgot about that in the original answer. Sorry about that. I responded in more detail to another post and included that.

phaedrusTHEghost404 karma

So is this inline with just opening a CC line for every checking account I have?

I recently opened two new business accounts and didn't care to have CC lines for them. They said you couldn't NOT have them... So I have them but doesn't use them.

Fwellsfargo521 karma

Yeah, this is why I'm doing this. This is the scam.

Mad_Juju49 karma

Business Bankers get a lot of shit for opening a business package without some sort of credit line. This is monitored very closely by the bank.

Fwellsfargo37 karma

Yup! Like a call 15 minutes after you've opened the account saying "I see the business is approved for a credit card and line of credit. Why didn't you give it to them".

kosamarie219 karma

Is there anyway to protect ourselves from all this banking corruption? I feel like it's everywhere, regardless who you use, to some degree, and was only noticed how banks are not your friend when the housing crisis hit.

Checking a credit score once a year isn't frequent enough, and I know first-hand that closing accounts these days are more difficult than opening one. For example: my multiple attempts to close a CC by calling in directly, and the account is still there, regardless who I talk to.

Are there corporate incentives to having all these accounts? to stock holders?

Fwellsfargo211 karma

The corporate incentive is it makes the bank more money, which makes it more attractive to stockholders.

The incentive to the local branch is it makes the banker more money (in bonus structure, which is directly tied to how many cc's and accounts you've opened).

newaccount161931 karma

I'm afraid I don't follow. How exactly does it make the bank more money if the consumer isn't aware and isn't putting money in the account?

Fwellsfargo103 karma

The bank makes money because the account will sit there unused and accumulate fees, which the consumer will owe

prudonks212 karma

I personally left WF as my main account due to ridiculous fees, right before everything blew up. Around how many people do you think closed their accounts as a result? Also, what do you think should be the correct response and fine that WF should have been given?

EDIT: wording

Fwellsfargo466 karma

I couldn't speculate on how many people have closed their accounts.

As far as the fines and response..that's a tough one too...how do you calculate the damage it's done to countless people that have had credit drawn on their name without their permission. The damage includes FICO's that have dropped due to credit pulls, which in turn leads to higher interest rates for loans people have taken about subsequent to their finding out about all this. I find it funny that 5200 employees were fired, but I still know of plenty that are doing it, and one just got back from a WF trip because of her high credit numbers. I've watched and read the interviews with John Stumpf, and I can tell you now, he's full of shit. This is a culture he and Tolstedt created. If you didn't have 10 approved credit per week, your ass was grass. You were pounded by management. I've literally had customers in my office who's wife had just died, and wanted to process beneficiary services, and was ridiculed because I didn't try to sell credit to this person...who promotes that kind of culture?

window5190 karma

These credit card accounts were opened for new customers of the bank or existing? I do not follow how someone working in a branch is expected to sell new services. When I as a customer walk into a branch I know why I am there.

Fwellsfargo174 karma

It can be both. The easiest way to do it was when opening new accounts, but it's just as easily done if you come in for account maintenance.

justcallmejohannes162 karma

Former employee here as well. I witnessed bankers standing next to tellers at the teller window and when a college student (or looked like they were) came up the banker would take over the interaction, set up the conversation to pitch the college credit card, then say that "Hey, how about we'll send out some information to you about the college credit card, all you need to do is sign this PinPad." It was actually signing the application, and the "information" being sent out was either an approved credit card, or the packet of information explaining the application was declined. Absolutely hated working for Wells Fargo.

Fwellsfargo176 karma

This is called "Seller behind the Teller". There's typically someone dedicated to this every day.

lastsynapse69 karma

Fuck that. That's so damn wrong. It's one thing to solicit people at the teller, it's a whole other thing to sign people up for shit deceptively.

I_am_Bearstronaut30 karma

I currently work at Wells. I hate being a teller. There usually is a banker behind the teller line as a "stagecoacher" which is helping the teller get what we call "sit downs" which is basically just getting people to sit with a banker. What OP was saying was a little misleading. We actually don't have the ability to sign people up for anything at the teller line. It may have been different when OP worked there, but I've worked there for 1.5 years and since I've been there we haven't been able to. The banker is there just to help get the customer to their desk, and from there they try and get the sale. Some people do it the right way, some people don't. Definitely not sticking up for WF (I hate the place) but what OP said sounded a little misleading

Fwellsfargo18 karma

Actually you're right. I was working on a file and trying to respond. To clarify, the Seller behind the Teller is the banker standing by the teller waiting for an opportunity to sell to someone at the teller line..basically try to get them into the banker seat. You can't actually sell anything from the teller line. I know I mentioned the process somewhere else in the thread, but I realize I came across misleading in that other post.

cruddyhoneybadger133 karma

How corrupt is the system?

Fwellsfargo357 karma

It's pretty corrupt. It's not about banking or helping customers at all. It's all about getting credit. A typical day at the bank would go like this:

Every morning starts with a sales call. The sales call consists of the DM going over how the tellers and bankers can get more credit, and having the managers commit to so many a day (a banker needs to have 2 accounts and 4 credit apps a day, no matter what. As a banker you are approached at least 3 times a day to see how many you've gotten). What the call is geared towards is how the branches are going to achieve that. For instance, one week it may be concentrated on the tellers searching through your transaction history when you come to do a deposit or withdrawal. The tellers will be tasked with getting 5 walkovers to a banker in one day by looking through your history and seeing that you make a payment to a loan or credit card. If they see that, then it's a signal to try to get you to a banker. They'll do that by making up stuff if necessary (like saying your phone number is incorrect, we need to get you to a banker to correct that, then immediately sending a message to the banker stating that the customer is making payment to a credit card)...this signals the banker to automatically steer the conversation towards what credit you have and convincing them that you need Wells Fargo because the interest rate is lower, etc. Also, this is sometimes where the fraudulent credit card is started..."Mr. Customer, I just need you to sign the pinpad to confirm the corrected address", when in reality they just did a cc app for them.

Sorry if it's rambling...it's early

kaygmo227 karma

Having worked at BOA, I can tell you that the corruption is not limited to Wells Fargo.

Fwellsfargo144 karma

I agree with you. I have friends that work at other banks, and this culture seems to be spreading.

reloadingnow62 karma

Holy shit.

Fwellsfargo85 karma

Another tactic was the multiple accounts. You'd have a meeting in the morning on how to sell multiple savings accounts, with role playing, etc. Then it would be a competition (with some times lunch being paid for) to see who could get the most "solutions" out of a customer. You'd have a customer come in on disability, and have a banker open a checking, plus 3 savings accounts for them. Sometimes the customer knew and were sold on it under some shitty pretense, or if they didn't go for it, they were opened anyways.

By the way, I've seen a lot of media on bankers moving money from one account to the other to open the fraudulent accounts. I never saw this. The accounts can be opened without funding. There's a code in the system that allows that.

Braden073220 karma

Out of curiosity, since the bank opened the account under the persons name, I am assuming that if they logged onto their wellsfargo.com account that they would see it immediately.

Is this not the case, or does Wells have the ability to hide accounts from being linked to your main accounts? If so, how can you check to see if you have accounts open else ware?

Fwellsfargo47 karma

Wells Fargo can't hide the accounts from the bank side, BUT, it can be hidden from your online banking. If you go into account settings you can choose what accounts you want to see. If a banker set up your online banking, then it's possible that they are hidden. I'd check there, then also call the 800 number and make sure what accounts you have.

dundundata87 karma

Are you going to just put "Bank" now on your resume?

Fwellsfargo157 karma

Opened a real estate company with an attorney friend. No need.

bluemitersaw9 karma

So a lawyer and banker go into real estate... So who's Glenn Gary and who's Glenn Ross?

Jk, congrats and good luck.

Fwellsfargo12 karma

Ha...good point.

For the record, I have 13 years mortgage/real estate/title insurance experience. I was working for a law firm handling commercial title when WF called and wanted to know if I would be interested in working for the Mortgage division. The market was picking up, so I did it...didn't like how the processing was handled, but there were no other jobs I wanted available, so I jumped into the banking side when a branch manager let me know there was a position available. I had no idea what to expect. I did it for a while before realizing it was a pile of shit. I spent a year looking for another position, and couldn't find what I wanted, until the opportunity to partner up came in to play. It was a good decision.

Orphan_Babies86 karma

Were you ever told to set up fake accounts?

Or tempted to do so?

Fwellsfargo79 karma


LBCvalenz56256 karma

Why the fuck am i getting charged CREDIT DEFENSE every month if i didn't ask for it?

Fwellsfargo82 karma

Because you had a banker add that to your account without you knowing.

inthesandtrap33 karma

How much would moving my account to another bank hurt Wells Fargo? Not much I am sure, but if enough people do it maybe someone will get the message?

Any other banks that are on the up and up?


justinsidebieber42 karma

Millions of people would have to switch over for them to even notice it. I'm a banker at Wells Fargo and have yet to see anyone come in to close their accounts because of what is going on in the news. And I work at a fairly large busy branch.

Fwellsfargo25 karma

Talking to my old co-workers, this is correct. Seems to be business as usual, although they are getting rid of sales compensation in January.

kmlxb217 karma

If I've never banked with Wells Fargo, am I at risk that an account was opened in my name?

BruceLee125533 karma

Banker here!

That really wasn't the scam. The scam was that people with existing accounts would have money shuffled to different, new accounts in order to puff up sales goals. The customer could potentially get fees, since they were unaware of the money being shuffled.

kmlxb24 karma

Makes sense. I figured as much, but I wasn't positive. Thanks for the info!

Fwellsfargo3 karma

I never saw anyone shuffle money over to new accounts. Open a new account without the customers knowledge? Yes. You can do that without funding it because there's a code you can use that will allow you to do that. I'm not saying it didn't happen like you said, just never saw it.

3FE0018 karma

would you still recommend using a large bank or should I stick with a local bank?

Fwellsfargo9 karma

Really, it depends on your needs. If you travel a lot, then a big bank would be more convenient, but I would always have a credit union for local stuff.

esupin3 karma

Chase, Citi, and maybe others are offering cash incentives (around $400, I think) for new customers opening a checking and/or savings account, putting a certain amount in ($10k?), and leaving it for at least 90 days. What's the incentive behind this - just boosting the new account number for shareholders and higher-ups? Are there any weird hidden details to these offers?

Fwellsfargo3 karma

Shouldn't be any weird hidden stuff. Make sure you ask for all the requirements. I just switched to a local bank and received a $150 Visa gift card. A lot of banks offer it to get your business.

nshaffer43 karma

I am about to start at a banker position in October. What is the best advice you can give someone new to the banking industry?

Fwellsfargo4 karma

They are getting rid of the sales requirements, so really just get ready for a lot of customer service. It's not banking in the traditional sense. You'll be doing a lot of account maintenance, and handling customer problems...in other words: retail.

mc_kitfox2 karma

Is the title "Loan Shark" "Payday Loan Specialist" interchangeable with "Wells Fargo Banker"?

But in all seriousness, the current state of TBTF banking leaves me bitter/salty just thinking about it. What kind of hazing did they do to try and get you to join their corporate cult(ure)?

Fwellsfargo7 karma

The "hazing" is done under the pretense that you're helping the customer. They hype it up (relentlessly...every morning) under the pretense that you're actually helping the customer (that customer NEEDS another checking account, because the internet is dangerous and they can pay their bills on that extra account without it effecting them. They NEED those extra savings accounts because one should be for emergencies, the other for vacation, the other for their kids, etc.) It's drilled and drilled, and if you're not opening them, then it's time for a meeting with your manager to find out what you're doing wrong..even to the point where they'll sit in on your interaction with the customer to make sure you're selling these things.

poopieschmaps-2 karma

We bought bed set through mattress firm and financed through WF, with about 300$ left to be paid off, WF closed our account. Is there a reason this happened?

Fwellsfargo1 karma

You'd have to call and find out. I don't know the particular circumstances.

RifleGun-20 karma

You will make a fine Wal-Mart greeter one day. How's life after leaving?

Fwellsfargo5 karma

I'll disregard the snark, but actually great. For the last year I had been looking for employment elsewhere, and it finally paid off.

RifleGun-5 karma

I'll disregard the snark

Nah, I was just pulling your dick. Actually I think it's cool that you left such a fucked up scene. What field are you in now after you left banking?

Fwellsfargo3 karma

I kind of ending up in banking, but most of my experience is in Real Estate. I partnered up and opened my own company.