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Wells Fargo investigation reveals these shocking stories of bad behavior

The stories behind the unethical sales practices

April 11, 2017

Wells Fargo released the results Monday of its independent investigation of the company’s fake accounts scandal.

As a result of the bank’s investigation it clawed back an additional $75 million from its former CEO John Stumpf and former head of community banking Carrie Toldstedt.

But some of the most shocking stories were hidden within Wells Fargo’s 113-page report. In fact, some of the stories were even downright creepy.

Take this story, for example, straight from the bank’s report:

Shelley Freeman, regional president in Los Angeles and later lead regional president in Florida, was particularly aggressive in her Jump into January campaigns. Witnesses described the practice of “running the gauntlet,” in which district managers, dressed up in themed costumes, formed two lines. Each then ran between those lined toward a whiteboard on which he or she would report the number of sales achieved. Witnesses also stated that Freeman suggested to subordinates that they encourage customers to sign up for products regardless of need.

Because that’s normal.

But the stories continue, including this one, where employees used their own family members to meet their sales goals.

“Friends and family” accounts were also frequently referenced in the reviewed investigation records; employees often described opening accounts for family and friends in order to meet sales goals. For example, a branch manager had a teenage daughter with 24 accounts, an adult daughter with 18 accounts, a husband with 21 accounts, a brother with 14 accounts and a father with four accounts.

But if that’s not enough for you, there is also this story, where employees prevented the bank from being able to contact consumers to survey them on customer service.

In some reviewed records, employees entered fake customer phone numbers or substituted their own email addresses for those of customers to prevent Wells Fargo from contacting customers who might provide a less-than-perfect customer survey score. In one case, a branch manager falsified customer phone numbers and instructed her employees to do the same, leading to the deletion of at least 192 customer phone numbers, to circumvent customer polling.

And click here to see seven more stories MarketWatch found in Wells Fargo’s new report.

Photo credit: Jose Antonio Perez /

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