The Wells Fargo Banking Company suffered from two major scandals within the last two years, involving the creation of more than 3.5 million fraudulent accounts and the unnecessary sale of 570,000 car insurance to customers. Although the bank has been navigating through fraud for over a year, the logo is still printed on every Texas State student ID.
The story was first reported by the L.A. Times in 2013, which led to a lawsuit in 2015. The settlement for that lawsuit was decided nearly a year ago on Sept. 8, 2016.
Texas State partners up with Wells Fargo to give students special benefits and services if they decide to combine their banking account with their Bobcat card. These benefits include a waived monthly service fee, online financial education and money management tools as well as a Zero Liability protection at no extra cost. Upon the discovery of the incidents, concerns arose on campus regarding the safety of the students and faculty’s financial assets.
Valerie Van Vlack, university treasurer, said that Texas State students are not a target by the bank.
“Texas State learned about the Wells Fargo banking issues and spoke with senior leaders at Wells Fargo as well as the LBJ Student Center bank manager,” Vlack said. “The LBJ Student Center branch did not have the sales goals in place at this branch, (which originally led to the creation of fraudulent accounts).”
Since the incident, Wells Fargo has been working diligently to restore its reputation and regain the trust of its customers. The company has set aside $142 million for customer remediation and settlement expenses, and has eliminated product sales goals for retail bankers, the original cause of the scandals.
Tymika Morrison, communications consultant for the Houston, Austin and San Antonio branches said Wells Fargo is still prioritizing customers.
“We recently completed a major milestone by completing an additional analysis and remediation concerning improper retail sales practices,” Morrison said.
Overall, the company has been active in its response to the incidents. Within a year, the chief executive and the head of the retail bank were removed, and the board was completely transformed into a simplified version of its formerly decentralized structure. Wells Fargo has also willingly submitted to federal investigations while producing its own independent reports.
Texas State has continued to engage consciously with all of the vendors they do business with, and has been selecting the student services that provide the best value. As for Wells Fargo, they are continuing to address concerns while communicating clearly with their customers.
If you believe you have been a victim or want to review your account, visit the Wells Fargo website, call 1-877-924-8697 or visit a branch.