Did Wells Fargo Cancel Your Account Without Warning? It Was Trying to Help

The outside of Wells Fargo in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.
The outside of Wells Fargo in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Wells Fargo just keeps on punching itself right in the gut.

On Aug. 4, the bank disclosed in a regulatory filing that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is looking into the possibility that Wells Fargo closed real accounts that customers needed, locking them out of their own money. Several customers have reported in complaints that they’ve experienced financial hardship as a result, Reuters reports.

What else could go wrong for this bank?

Wells Fargo’s Scandal Sheet Grows

Today, the bank is facing claims that it wrongfully locked or froze accounts due to concerns about fraud — and harmed customers in the process.

One customer wrote that their late mother’s debts are delinquent and her mortgage is about to go into foreclosure because the bank’s fraud department locked her account, according to Reuters.

The news of these accounts being closed comes after a huge blow to the company’s reputation: In March, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $110 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of opening 2.1 million unauthorized accounts for customers.

On top of the payout, Wells Fargo was fined $185 million.

CEO John Stumpf resigned after the scandal, but new war wounds suggest his exit didn’t do much when it came to damage control.  

On July 28, the bank was accused of charging customers for auto collision insurance customers didn’t need — and costing customers $73 million. The bank has vowed to “make customers whole,” but information as to how has yet to be released.

Reuters points out that while Wells Fargo’s past scandals seem to stem from efforts to increase revenue, when it comes to the closed accounts, the bank claims the closings were a result of the company doing its due diligence to protect customers from fraud.

As for its most recent brouhaha, there is no information yet about the next steps the bank will take to resolve the issues with frozen and closed accounts.  

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.