NPR Planet Money Episode 728: The Wells Fargo Hustle
The third-largest bank in the country, Wells Fargo, is in big trouble. A federal investigation found that Wells Fargo was opening bank accounts without customers’ permission. Perhaps as many as two million fraudulent accounts.
After the scandal broke, Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf was called to Capitol Hill to testify. He told the senators that the bank’s upper management wasn’t responsible for the giant scam. He said it was just a bunch of bad apples working at bank branches. Mostly low-level employees.
One of the low-level employees was watching her former boss testify. And she couldn’t believe it. This wasn’t Wells Fargo’s culture? Upper management had nothing to do with it? She knew the company in branches across the country had pushed and pushed young bankers until they broke the rules. Even the law.