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Letter: Wells Fargo fiasco wasn’t due to too much regulation

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Posted: Monday, October 17, 2016 11:41 pm

I just read the Oct. 4 column by Dr. Steve Hansen in which he complains about too many ridiculous (and apparently bothersome) federal regulations. It seems he had a problem with the bank that issued the credit card he has had for 50 years.

Since Dr. Hansen does not name the bank, I had to do a little deducing about which bank this might be based on the information revealed in the column.

Clue No. 1: He has had the card for 50 years, so it must be a bank that has been around that long, or is a major bank that bought out smaller institutions.

Clue No. 2: He has not lived in Lodi all his life, so it must be a non-locally owned bank.

Clue No. 3: He visited his “local” branch to find a solution to his dilemma. Conclusion: It could only be one of three large banks with branches in Lodi — Chase, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo. Most of these banks have merged with smaller banks, but all are currently operating nationwide.

Recently, Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, questioned the validity of the existence of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. This agency was formed as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act and was the brainchild of now-Senator Elizabeth Warren, whom Congress refused to confirm as the head of the agency. A congressional committee recently held hearings to strip the CFPA of many of its powers.

Enter Wells Fargo Bank and the 1.5 million accounts and half a million credit card accounts its employees opened illegally — without the knowledge of its customers in order to earn sales bonuses. The accounts, unknown to its customers, were racking up a multitude of fees from which Wells profited. This scheme was discovered by the CFPA!

5,300 Wells employees were fired, but the executive in charge retired with a $125 million payout. Wells CEO, John Stumpf, has finally been fired after telling Congress he had no responsibility for the scheme.

Citizens, check your credit reports — and the next time someone like Dr. Hansen complains about too much federal regulation — think about Wells Fargo Bank.

Joanne DelSolar

Lodi

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