The recent Wells Fargo scandal is yet another fine example of how trust in the financial sector is often misplaced. Although the bank has apologized – in public – for this incident, they are not honoring their victms’ legal claims so far. Opening unauthorized account in someone else’s name should be a clear-cut case for the US legal system, but that is not the case it seems.
Wells Fargo Plays Hard Ball In Court
As was to be expected from a financial institution caught with its hand in the cookie jar, they are not planning to give in to victims’ demands without a fight. Several affected users have filed a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo for opening unauthorized accounts with their customer information. It was not the best decision by the bank under any circumstances, and they should face legal repercussions for their actions.
Unfortunately, the legal battle will not be without a hitch for affected users. Wells Fargo asked the Utah District Court to resolve claims in closed-door arbitration. This type of practice is nothing new, as banks often rely on this trick to avoid class action lawsuit. Customers have, according to Wells Fargo’s contracts, agreed to enter arbitration when a legal dispute arises.
However, these claims are considered to be highly controversial, as they only aid in disguising malicious behavior by companies.Public court cases would be subject to a lot of scrutiny and media attention, neither of which benefit Wells Fargo right now. Then again, the truth should never be hidden from the public, and such gross offenses need to be smeared out.
Creating over 2 million accounts with customer information without authorization should be a major criminal offense. In fact, one could argue everyone in the upper brass of the bank, as well as the involved staffers, need to serve lifetime prison sentences and repay all damages to victims. That is not how the legal system works, unfortunately, and it is doubtful this will be the outcome.
Despite facing a lot of scrutiny over their stalling tactic, Wells Fargo has no intention to drop the arbitration clause anytime soon. In fact, they believe this is the most fair and efficient process serving the needs of all parties”. Utter banker BS, of course, but the system allows the to hide behind these clauses.
It is evident Wells Fargo does not care about its customers. Otherwise, they would not have created the fraudulent accounts, to begin with. Moreover, they would resolve these issues the right way if they had nothing else to hide. It appears these class action lawsuits would cause more skeletons to fall out of the bank’s closet. No one should trust that bank – or any other financial institution – anymore. It is due time consumers take control of their money and cut out the middlemen.
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