Senate investigates Wells Fargo retaliations against whistleblowers

One after another, ex-Wells Fargo employees have come forward to reveal that when they blew the whistle of millions of frauds committed against the bank's customers, the bank's management fired them and blackballed them from the banking industry for life, by falsifying claims of wrongdoing on a semi-secret list of corrupt bankers that is consulted by the industry before they make new hires.

Elizabeth Warren — who's been on the case since day one — and two Democratic senate colleagues have written to Wells Fargo demanding that they account for themselves.

"The Wells Fargo scandal exposes how vulnerable bank employees are under the current system," Warren told NPR. "The idea of bankwide fraud is something that the FINRA system wasn't designed to catch and in fact may help the banks squelch their whistleblowers and others who would try to correct the problem. I hope that we're going to see some changes come out of this."

They say that failing to properly disclose and examine U5 forms may have misled the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators by concealing key information on the forms. In their letter, the senators say that "the bank may have deprived FINRA and other regulators of information that could have allowed them to uncover and stop the illegal activity at Wells Fargo well before the September 2016 CFPB settlement."

The senators also noted that "Wells Fargo has a history of compliance problems related to U5 reporting" and requested information on the bank's U5 filing, review and amendment process. FINRA has launched its own internal U5 review of Wells Fargo but has not disclosed details yet.

Letter to Timothy J. Sloan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wells Fargo & Company [Elizabeth Warren, Robert Menendez and Ron Wyden/US Senate]

Senators Investigate Reports Wells Fargo Punished Workers
[Chris Arnold/All Things Considered]

(via Naked Capitalism)