Paul Krugman, who earlier today threw some shade on Donald Trump’s love of Vladimir Putin, has highlighted the role of President Obama’s 2010 Dodd-Frank Act in ensuring Wells Fargo suffers punishment for fraudlent activity of its employees in opening up bank accounts in unsuspecting customers’ names, an activity that benefited both employees and bank.
As Krugman points out, it was Republicans who tried to kill Dodd-Frank in 2015:
And this might never have come to light without Dodd-Frank, which Republicans want to kill https://t.co/LUyT3eIY8A
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) September 8, 2016
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for which we have Elizabeth Warren to thank, says the $185 million dollars represents “$100 million fine to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund. The bank will also pay an additional $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and another $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles.”
An internal review by Wells Fargo revealed that there were more than 1.5 million deposit accounts “that may not have been authorized,” possibly funded “transferring funds from consumers’ existing accounts without their knowledge or consent.” The bank earned some $2 million in fees from 85,000 of those accounts since 2011.
If that isn’t shocking enough, according to the CFPB, “employees submitted applications for 565,443 credit-card accounts that may not have been authorized by using consumers’ information without their knowledge or consent.” Some 14,000 of those accounts brought in $400,000 in fees.
According to the CFPB:
“Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed. Today’s action should serve notice to the entire industry that financial incentive programs, if not monitored carefully, carry serious risks that can have serious legal consequences.”
The Republicans didn’t want the CFPB either. Without it, banks like Wells Fargo would be free to victimize its customers.
Over 5,000 employees were fired by the bank in addition to the fine. And that’s not all; the CFPB says Wells Fargo will pay back its defrauded customers.
See the full text of the CFPB’s Consent Order here.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.