A $2.6 billion class action lawsuit filed by two former Wells Fargo employees alleges that the company knew more about the recent sales scandal than they admitted, the New York Post reports.
The lawsuit, filed in California, is on behalf of all Californian Wells Fargo employees over the last decade who followed the rules but were terminated because they could not meet the ridiculous sales quotas. Quotas at some regional branches were as high as 20 sales per day, the Guardian notes.
The suit alleges that Wells Fargo “fired or demoted employees who failed to meet unrealistic quotas while at the same time providing promotions to employees who met these quotas by opening fraudulent accounts,” according to legal documents released to the Post.
The legal documents also claim that the bank was fully aware some of the accounts were illegally opened, had no balances, and directly stemmed from fraudulent practices, the Post reports.
“Wells Fargo knew that their unreasonable quotas were driving these unethical behaviors that were used to fraudulently increase their stock price and benefit the CEO at the expense of the low level employees,” the legal documents state.
The CEO of Wells Fargo tells a different story..
CEO John Stumpf defended his company and its recent efforts to thwart unsavory sales practices at its regional bank outlets. Stumpf did not blame leadership, but rather branch-level employees for the mess in which the firm finds itself, and is moving towards eliminating the sales goals that led to this debacle. It was the sales quotas, Stumpf argues, that incentivized employees to engage in fraudulent behavior. (RELATED: Wells Fargo CEO Explains His Company’s $185 Million Dollar Fraud)
Stumpf, if he were to resign as CEO, stands to make $123.6 million in severance packages and stock value, USA Today reports.
Wells Fargo assured the public that the company “objective has always been and continues to be to meet our customers’ financial needs and drive customer satisfaction,” in a press release sent to TheDCNF.
Wells Fargo employees issued 565,000 lines of credit and opened 1.5 million bank accounts for customers without their consent, and sometimes created false email addresses to sign them up for banking services in order to pad their numbers. (RELATED: Wells Fargo Just Got Hit With The Biggest Fine In CFPB History)
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