Wells Fargo employees may have potentially opened another 1.4 million fake accounts, putting the total number of fraudulent accounts at an estimated 3.5 million. The bank believes that practice had been going on a lot longer than anticipated.
To address this controversy, Wells Farggo examined data going as far back as 2009 to determine the extent of unauthorized accounts. Refunds for the total pool of unauthorized accounts are estimated to be approximately $6 million, which is double the amount the bank originally estimated.
“We apologize to everyone who was harmed by unacceptable sales practices,” Wells Fargo CEO Timothy J. Sloan told the Washington Post. “We are working hard to ensure this never happens again and to build a better bank for the future.”
Upon hearing the news, Warren Buffet, one of Wells Fargo’s largest shareholders, told to CNBC, “When you put the focus on an organization that has hundreds of thousands of people working for it, you may very well find that it wasn’t just the one that misbehaved. And of course, it was more than one in the Wells Fargo case.”
Elizabeth Warren, who has been highly critical of the bank since the practice was discovered, remained steadfast in her call for consequence. She said, via Twitter, “The Federal Reserve should remove every Wells Fargo Board member who served during this scandal. I don’t know what they’re waiting for.”
In a recent interview, Sloan told DS News, “Clearly, right now at Wells Fargo, my job is to ensure we are all applying tremendous focus on making the changes necessary to help rebuild trust and always doing what is right for our customers. This is foundational to who we are and how we operate.”