Wells Fargo Bank fired multiple employees for calling the company ethics line to report illegal practices they were asked to carry out, according to CNN Money.
The government fined Wells Fargo $185 million for issuing 565,000 lines of credit and opening 1.5 million bank accounts for customers without their consent in September. The company also reportedly created false email addresses to sign up customers for banking services in order to pad its numbers. (RELATED: Wells Fargo Just Got Hit With The Biggest Fine In CFPB History)
Reports are now surfacing that employees who spoke out and tried to stop the illegal behavior were fired immediately, according to reports. One former employee called the company ethics line and sent an e-mail into human resources outlining the unethical behavior he was asked to carry out. Eight days later he was fired, according to CNN. His termination, the company said, was not because of his whistleblowing but because of tardiness.
Another employee notes that she endured harsh bullying, defamation of character, and was blamed for things she didn’t do, reportedly because she spoke out against the company’s fraudulent procedures, CNN reports.
The Securities and Exchange Commission now says the company could face legal action due to its efforts to reportedly suppress whistleblowing.
Senators and congressman grilled the CEO of Wells Fargo, John G. Stumpf, Tuesday for the scandal, showing him e-mails and documents that illustrated the extent to which the bank tried to suppress employees.
“Each team member, no matter where you are in the organization, is encouraged to raise their hands…we want to hear from them,” Stumpf said in the Congressional hearing.
Stumpf has yet to receive direct legal action and still remains CEO of the bank.
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