I think this is only the second time I have posted something directly from another site that was not original, but it is an important story on how far Wells Fargo has gone to deceive its own customers, many of whom don’t speak English, in order to sell life insurance policies from their partner Prudential.
It’s very clear that Well Fargo is essentially a corporate criminal conspiracy, in my opinion, so if you have any accounts at Wells Fargo, I would jump off of that stage coach as fast as possible and transfer my business to a local credit union. Credit unions are member-owned and have no non-member shareholders, so they have a very different business model from the criminally-oriented major global banks that have engaged in extensive price rigging worldwide.
There are numerous stories about global banks rigging the indexes on this site so this is nothing new. As a matter of fact, bid rigging and trading against individual and corporate customers who are global bank customers is something that should be expected. Bid and index rigging is so common today that it brings to mind the old complaints from pension funds and other large institutional customers that NYSE specialists regularly traded in front of them at the NYSE when that was a clear violation of the specialist’s role. As a result, they bid customer orders higher so they did not get the best price. The specialist always won and rarely took any of the risk.
But back to the present day. Here is a partial excerpt of a story that appeared in the New York Times, Dec. 9, 2016, as cited on the web site by consumer attorney Dale Ledbetter of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Accusations of Fraud at Wells Fargo Spread to Sham Insurance Policies
By Stacy Cowley and Matthew Goldstein THE NEW YORK TIMES, Dec. 9, 2016
“When Wells Fargo admitted a few months ago that thousands of its employees had created as many as two million unauthorized accounts for its customers, alarm bells went off at Prudential, one of the nation’s biggest insurance firms.
“Wells Fargo has a partnership with Prudential to sell a low-cost life insurance policy to the bank’s retail customers. After news of the Wells Fargo settlement in September, Prudential ordered an internal review of its dealings with the bank, to make sure nothing was amiss with the joint endeavor.
“A lot was amiss. According to three former managers in Prudential’s corporate investigation division, Wells Fargo employees appeared to have signed up bank customers for Prudential insurance without the customers’ knowledge or permission. In some cases, they even arranged for monthly premium fees to be withdrawn from their customers’ accounts.
“When investigators reviewed tapes of calls to Prudential’s customer service line, they found complaints from Wells Fargo customers about policies they did not remember buying. Many of the customers did not speak English and needed a Spanish interpreter, the three plaintiffs said.
“”This definitely was the same kind of conduct that Wells was committing, but through Prudential,”” said one of the three whistle-blowers, Julie Han Broderick, an attorney and former co-head of Prudential’s corporate investigations division, which has about 30 employees.
“Ms. Broderick and two of her colleagues, Darron Smith and Thomas Schreck, filed a wrongful termination suit against Prudential on Tuesday. They say they were fired in November for trying to escalate attention internally to their discoveries about conduct at Wells Fargo. Prudential said on Friday that the three were fired for “appropriate and legitimate reasons” that had nothing to do with Wells Fargo.
“”A Prudential spokesman, Scot Hoffman, says the company continues to investigate the policies sold through Wells Fargo. Once it is finished, Prudential anticipates “reviewing this matter with our regulators,” he said.
“Since bankers are not licensed to sell insurance, Wells Fargo employees were encouraged, without discussing specific terms, to steer customers to either a self-service kiosk in bank branches or a website on which they could sign up for MyTerm, a policy that does not require applicants to take a medical exam. Bankers who sold the product got credit toward their steep quarterly sales quotas.
“Some Wells Fargo bankers appear to have signed people up for MyTerm without telling them, according to the three whistle-blowers from Prudential. In some cases, bankers opened MyTerm policies, closed them after a month or two and then promptly reopened them to bolster their sales numbers, the evidence in the lawsuit suggests.”