Tester Demands More Answers from Wells Fargo

Senator Urges Montanans Impacted by the Bankâ??s Actions to Contact His Office

(Big Sandy, Mont.)-One week after he grilled the Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo for illegally opening over two million deposit and credit card accounts without customers’ knowledge or consent, Senator Jon Tester is demanding more answers and encouraging Montanans impacted by the bank’s actions to contact his office.

“Wells Fargo took advantage of their customers and it is critical that they address this situation with full transparency,” Tester said. “Answering these questions for Montana consumers will provide some accountability and help ensure the right steps are being taken to make customers whole.”

Tester announced today that his office is taking casework from Montanans who believe they have been impacted by Wells Fargo’s actions.

Montanans who believe false accounts were opened by Wells Fargo without their consent, or believe the actions of Wells Fargo have damaged their credit rating can click HERE to fill out a form on Tester’s website. Montanans who contact Tester’s office will then work with the Senator, his staff, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to seek reimbursement for fees and fines associated with false accounts.

“Folks who believe they have been impacted by the actions of Wells Fargo should immediately contact my office,” Tester added.

Tester today also sent a letter to Wells Fargo CEO and Chairman John Stumpf with further questions about the potential impacts Wells Fargo’s actions are having on families who have been forced to pay higher interest rates on loans as a result of negative information that was reported to credit bureaus.

Tester urged Stumpf to provide detailed and timely answers to the following questions:

During the years from 2011-2015, exactly how many credit card accounts were opened on behalf of unknowing customers?

  • How far back will Wells Fargo go to ensure this widespread issue doesn’t predate 2011?
  • Has Wells Fargo notified all of these customers yet? And how many of these customers were in Montana? 
  • How many of those accounts had negative information sent to the credit bureaus about them? How many of them were in Montana? 
  • Has Wells Fargo confirmed that all negative information on these unauthorized accounts has been removed from consumers’ credit bureau accounts? 
  • What is Wells Fargo doing for consumers who potentially paid more on loans than they should have at not only Wells Fargo, but at other financial institutions?
  • Was negative information reported to the credit bureaus on accounts other than credit card accounts? 
  • How is Wells Fargo responding to consumer complaints? Is a special division being set-up within the bank to deal with customers who have been harmed?

Last week, Tester criticized the actions of Wells Fargo executives for jeopardizing the finances of thousands of Americans during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Since 2011, Wells Fargo has fired nearly 5,300 employees who:

  • Illegally opened over two million deposit and credit card accounts.
  • Transferred funds from customers’ authorized deposit accounts to 1.5 million unauthorized accounts.
  • Applied for 565,000 credit card accounts that were not authorized by customers, but still incurred annual fees and interest charges.
  • Issued and activated debit cards without consumers’ knowledge that included PIN numbers.
  • Created fake email addresses to enroll consumers in online-banking services.

Earlier this month the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Los Angeles City Attorney fined Wells Fargo $185 million for their illegal actions that took place between 2011 and 2015.

Tester’s letter to Stumpf is available HERE.