Accountability and Admissions at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has been in the news ever since investigations by journalists, then government agencies, then the company itself reported a widespread practice of opening fake and “ghost” accounts and secretly moving customer money, all to meet aggressive sales quotas. One of the questions in the aftermath is how to hold the company accountable. One part of the response was to settle out of court.
Multiple civil regulators pursued Wells Fargo after the scandal broke — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the L.A. City Attorney’s Office. They resolved the matter the way that most civil enforcement is resolved: by settlement. And they settled the actions without requiring Wells Fargo to admit that it did anything wrong. Legal denials and admissions, accountability, and what we can learn from Wells Fargo are the subject of this radio commentary.