In Wells Fargo Scandal, the Buck Stopped Well Short

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Media Outlet: New York Times

Susan M. Ochs wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on the Wells Fargo scandal:

Wells Fargo is trying to clean up the mess created by its high-pressure sales culture, which drove employees to open millions of unauthorized accounts in the names of customers. Pledging accountability, the bank is paying restitution to customers who were charged for these sham accounts, reviewing its process controls, and — as it announced Tuesday — eliminating sales goals for its retail bank products.
In connection with the “widespread illegal practices,” Wells Fargo has also fired 5,300 employees and managers, with one notable exception: the executive in charge.
Instead of bearing any responsibility for this scandal, Carrie Tolstedt, the divisional senior vice president for community banking who supervised the 6,000 retail branches where the wrongdoing took place, is retiring, taking with her millions in stock and options.


Susan M. Ochs is an expert in financial services and economic policy. She was a senior fellow at New America in the Economic Growth program, and was also founder of its Better Banking Project.