Wells Fargo CEO Ignores Consumer Concerns

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Recently, Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America sent Wells Fargo CEO John Strumpf a very polite lettercalling on him to end all automatic enrollment into their overdraft programs. We figured that after a federal judge said of Wells’ overdraft practices, “The bank’s dominant, indeed sole, motive was to maximize the number of overdrafts and squeeze as much as possible [from customers],” the bank was probably looking for something they could do to get good press.

In our letter we called on John Strumpf to: To End All Automatic Enrollments Into Overdraft Programs! Although a new law requires banks to obtain consumers’ permission before enrolling a consumer in overdraft protection for debt and ATM transactions, banks can continue to charge consumers high fees for covering checks and electronic payments without getting permission.

If the bank was not prepared to make the changes that we requested, they could have at the very least responded to our concerns in a letter. But check out the response we got this week. (link to pdf)

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Compare that to our letter and you’ll notice it says absolutely nothing about what we asked. Although April Caraballo may be a “Senior” Correspondence Specialist she doesn’t seem to be particular good at corresponding since she did not respond to the concerns posed. We aren’t sure what they are responding to but it is certainly not the letter we sent them.

So, we are now asking other national, state, and local consumer groups to write to CEO John Stumpf calling on him: To End All Automatic Enrollments Into Overdraft Programs! A “Dear John” letter if you will. Who knows, maybe a flood of letters will convince John or at least April to live up to their lofty positions and address their customers’ concerns.

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