The Wells Fargo Effect – How Will This Affect the Banking Industry?

Here are some notes I took while reading the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

Wells Fargo
The CEO is John Stumpf.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/wells-fargos-john-stumpf-takes-center-stage-at-senate-1474363803
Here are four senators to watch during the hearing, which begins at 10 a.m.Eastern time Tuesday (9/20/16):

  • Richard Shelby – Sympathetic to banks, critic of Dodd-Frank Act (financial regulation)
  • Elizabeth Warren – A longtime critic of Wall Street – she will likely be the most harsh on Strumpf
  • Bob Corker – Sen. Corker has been both a critic and an advocate of financial regulation
  • Sherrod Brown – The top Democrat on the banking panel, Sen. Sherrod Brown is no friend of big banks.

Carrie Tolstedt

http://www.wsj.com/articles/carrie-tolstedt-in-the-eye-of-the-wells-fargo-storm-1474326652

Now, the question is how allegedly illegal sales practices could have escaped her notice as the executive responsible for the bank’s 6,000 branches across the U.S.

Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)
https://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/fsoc/Pages/home.aspx

It’s interesting to note that both of these executives are talking about retirement now. Coincidence? Doubtful.
The real question is, are we all going to be blind to the fact that this kind of nonsense is probably happening at every major bank?

Where were the customers in all of this? I hope this represents a wake up call to America – we need to be checking our accounts very often. The people who were defrauded by the 5,000 plus employees of Wells Fargo probably could have saved themselves a lot in time, and stress if they were just paying attention. My bigger concern in all of this, is that America seems to be sleeping at the wheel. If someone opened up a new account in my name, and transferred money out of my account, I would know about it within 24 hours. The first thing I do every day, just about, is check my accounts. I like to know what’s going on, how much money I have, and I’m looking for any surprises.

Yesterday the Senate reviewed the situation with john Stumpf. I caught a short video showing his apology. I’m curious to know what questions the four senators listed above asked, and how he responded. The media is earily quiet about it today. I can’t find anything in the journal about it.

Did Stumpf adequately convince us that this is really against everything Wellfs Fargo stands for? What about other banks? Is anyone looking into this to see how widespread this really is?

In the end I wouldn’t trust any bank. I’ll continue to watch my balances every single day. Ultimately, as consumers we have to take responsibility, and be accountable. We need to watch our own backs, to make sure no one is taking advantage of us. That’s the world we live in – especially in the world of Banking.

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