The ratio hovers around six, which means every customer of Wells Fargo has on average six different types of products with the bank.
After a new account had been opened, the employee would transfer funds from a consumer's authorised account to temporarily fund the new, unauthorised account.
On Thursday, these illegal banking practices cost Wells Fargo US$185 million (S$251 million) in fines, including a US$100 million penalty from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the largest such penalty the agency has issued. "Wells Fargo reached these agreements consistent with our commitment to customers and in the interest of putting this matter behind us", a bank spokesperson said.
Wells Fargo has fired 5,300 employees over the incident, but it has yet to publicly deny or admit to any wrongdoing. In many cases, customers only became aware of the scheme when they received credit or debit cards they hadn't applied for, or were hit by overage charges on an account they didn't know existed. Wells Fargo has agreed to refund about US$2.6 million in fees that may have been inappropriately charged. "Wells Fargo has been a trusted brand since the west was won", Eric Shiffer, finance expert and CEO of The Patriarch Organization, tells the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Just ask the 1.5 million customers who had accounts opened they never asked for, those who paid out $400,000 in unauthorized fees, and Wells Fargo itself.
"Unchecked incentives can lead to serious consumer harm, and that is what happened here", said Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a statement.
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A spokesman for Shelby did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A bank spokesman declined to say whether any senior executives had been reprimanded or fired in the scandal. Branch managers, whose pay was tied in part to how many products they signed people up for, held as many as four sales motivation meetings a day.
"I was shocked because it's such a good bank, it really is".
Don't open those attachments, that's what Wells Fargo is telling customers, they wouldn't send out an email like that.
"They created the worst kind of culture you can create in a corporation.where they created incentives to exercise bad behavior", Stewart Welch of the Welch Group said.
A Moorhead woman is sharing her Wells Fargo horror story, after hearing that millions of others had phony accounts opened in their names, too. "They should never be taken advantage of", said Mike Feuer, the Los Angeles City Attorney who joined the settlement. "As banks look to move forward in a digital world, these processes will minimize fraudulent transactions and create a more safe and secure experience for customers". Bankers suggest reviewing statements and balances frequently.