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Wells Fargo: Where Did They Go Wrong?


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Hege, it would be hard for you to convince me that Wells Fargo has done nothing that other banks have not been doing all these years.

The only mistake Wells Fargo has made was getting caught.

Full Disclosure: I have never had any issues with Wells Fargo other than them being cheap with credit limits.


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Here's where they went wrong: I was a good upper-mid-line customer (not rich) and stayed with them through all the scandals. Funded cash accounts, credit cards, brokerage, and 20 years of mortgages all paid off - everything. Then they came for me, when they decided to close all of the personal lines of credit. By the time they recanted, I had already interviewed several financial institutions and was moving to the one I selected. It was too late. 

 

When my spouse went to our regular WF branch to withdraw all of the remaining balance via a cashiers check,  the manager asked if we were moving our money out of WF, and seemed unsurprised when the answer was yes.

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Swarthmore Phoenix:  Where did they go wrong?

 

'Cause I mean, they did run a headline that basically reads "Where did a bank that famously committed more than three and a half million standalone instances of bank fraud go wrong?" and boy is that a thinker.

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One thing that never seems to get reported is WF's behavior toward people in BK.  When I was about to file, my BK attorney said if I had any money in WF, I should remove it before filing because WF would freeze my accounts, even though they were not required to, and other banks didn't.  That was well before the scandals and was my first clue that something was not right at WF.

 

On the other hand, a couple of years later, I went ahead and took a chance anyway because WF had a $10k secured Visa at the time, which became a prybar for me.  Fortunately, I was lucky and have never experienced any of the problems in the press.

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One thing that never seems to get reported is WF's behavior toward people in BK.  When I was about to file, my BK attorney said if I had any money in WF, I should remove it before filing because WF would freeze my accounts, even though they were not required to, and other banks didn't.  That was well before the scandals and was my first clue that something was not right at WF.
 
On the other hand, a couple of years later, I went ahead and took a chance anyway because WF had a $10k secured Visa at the time, which became a prybar for me.  Fortunately, I was lucky and have never experienced any of the problems in the press.

You are wrong when you say that other banks wouldn't have frozen your deposit accounts.

Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA and PenFed would have frozen your accounts and kept them frozen until the Second Coming. When the dust finally settled, they would also prohibit you from using online banking for years even though you may still have your deposit accounts open and with a positive balance.


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5 hours ago, PotO said:


You are wrong when you say that other banks wouldn't have frozen your deposit accounts.

Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA and PenFed would have frozen your accounts and kept them frozen until the Second Coming. When the dust finally settled, they would also prohibit you from using online banking for years even though you may still have your deposit accounts open and with a positive balance.


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Actually, it was my attorney who said that.  Given your list of financial institutions that would, it appears he was talking about institutions that were local to me at the time.

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Actually, it was my attorney who said that.  Given your list of financial institutions that would, it appears he was talking about institutions that were local to me at the time.

The point is that there are literally hundreds of financial institutions across the country that would do what you were told Wells Fargo does. Were the press to clobber WF for doing so, they'd be clobbering tons of other banks, too.


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Why do I feel like we are living in a bubble? Meaning, we are paying attention to this stuff that Wells Fargo does, whereas most people don’t care or pay any attention until something happens to them. That’s one reason why I never jumped on the HSBC bandwagon, after reading several horror stories about their fraud department locking up bank accounts for months at a time. Their $700 signup bonus was tempting, but not tempting enough to put myself at their mercy.

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Why do I feel like we are living in a bubble? Meaning, we are paying attention to this stuff that Wells Fargo does, whereas most people don’t care or pay any attention until something happens to them. That’s one reason why I never jumped on the HSBC bandwagon, after reading several horror stories about their fraud department locking up bank accounts for months at a time. Their $700 signup bonus was tempting, but not tempting enough to put myself at their mercy.

HSBC has gotten better. They only lock you up for a month now.

The problem at HSBC is that they outsource just about everything to pig farmers waist high in raw sewage in India. Their normal customer service is in the Philippines and they aren't bad, but anything to do with security or online banking is in India.

Not that India is necessarily bad, mind you. American Express outsources a lot to India, but those that I have ever dealt with are stellar. HSBC, however, must strive for the shiattiest staff possible.

When it comes to credit cards currently, it might be a good idea to get into HSBC right now. In a few months they will be dumping the majority of their credit card portfolio on two smaller regional banks that would otherwise have geographical restrictions on new accounts. You can defeat their geofence by going through HSBC.


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