Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Federal authorities knew about hundreds of Wells Fargo whistleblowers

Zachary Mejia, Managing Editor

New revelations have surfaced in the Wells Fargo fake account debacle, and can be considered the most troubling since the scandal was first uncovered September of last year. A report released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent bank regulating bureau within the U.S Treasury, disclosed that the OCC was aware of 700 filed whistleblower complaints by Wells Fargo employees since 2010.

The federal bureau conceded to failing to see red flags that could have stopped the scandal years before it came to public light. The OCC did not investigate the hundreds of employee complaints in regards to the company’s sales tactics.   

A similar story was documented by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit in November of last year. Using information provided by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the Investigative Unit found that dozens of whistleblowers complaints may have brought the fake account issue to the attention of both the federal government and Wells Fargo in 2010.

Yet the country’s third largest bank was not officially held accountable until it was fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Los Angeles City Attorney, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency September 8th.

Since the scandal became public, the company has been grilled by Congress, fired 5,300 employees, paid $185 million in government fines, and has stripped its CEO, Tim Sloan, and seven other executives of bonuses amounting to $32 million total.

Wells Fargo former CEO, John Stumpf, stepped down from his position after testifying to Congress and allegations of deliberate negligence and the company retaliating against whistleblowers.   

 

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
Federal authorities knew about hundreds of Wells Fargo whistleblowers