Wells Fargo apologizes (again), says widespread outage is nearly fixed

Bank provides update on online, mobile banking outage

Whether it was over fake accounts opened in customers’ names, unnecessary foreclosures caused by a software error, allegedly lying about its subprime lending activities in the run-up to the housing crisis, or a number of other issues, Wells Fargo has done a lot of apologizing in the last few years.

And now, the bank is issuing another apology after its online and mobile banking systems were knocked offline for much of the day Thursday.

Wells Fargo issued a lengthy statement Friday, stating that it identified the cause of the issue, blaming the massive outage on an “automatic power shutdown at one of Wells Fargo’s main data-center facilities, triggered by a smoke condition created by routine maintenance activities in the building.”

According to the bank, the affected systems were “systematically re-routed to back-up data centers throughout the day,” but that didn’t prevent thousands of people from being able to access their money.

The bank said that by the end of the day Thursday, “most critical systems” had been brought back online, adding that it was continuing to address any outstanding issues.

The bank said that its staff is “aggressively working” to address customer issues and stated that any Wells Fargo fees incurred as a result of the outage will be reversed, which should help a number of Wells Fargo customers who complained that were unable to pay their mortgage during the outage.

According to the bank, some transactions, balances and payroll deposits were not visible in online banking or ATMs Thursday or early Friday. The bank said that even though those transactions were not visible, they were processed normally, adding that customers “can use their accounts with confidence.”

But the bank isn’t entirely out of the woods yet. Some Wells Fargo customers told HousingWire that parts of Wells Fargo’s website are still not operational as of late Friday afternoon.

The bank also noted that there may continue to be delays in mobile and online banking as customers check their balances.

Beyond that, the bank said some features of online and mobile banking like consumer credit card and mortgage balances are not available. The bank said that it is in the process of restoring those features.

As of Friday afternoon, the bank said that ATM services have been restored, customers can use Wells Fargo credit and debit cards for purchases, and bank branches are operational.

The bank also said that it will keep all 5,500 of its branches open an extra hour on Friday and Saturday to address any customer concerns.

“I apologize to our customers and team members for the inconvenience caused by yesterday’s system issues,” Wells Fargo CEO and President Tim Sloan said in a statement.

“While we restored operations throughout the day and continue to address customer concerns, our recovery from these issues was not as rapid as we or our customers would have expected,” Sloan continued. “We will review the system issues in detail, and do all we can to ensure that this type of disruption doesn’t happen again. Our dedicated team members stand ready to serve our customers in branches, 24 hours a day in our contact centers, and at offices across the country.”

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