Wells Fargo's 20-month nightmare
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 4/24/2018, 7:26 a.m.
Jackie Wattles, Ben Geier, Matt Egan and Danielle Wiener-Bronner
(CNN Money) -- Wells Fargo may face an angry crowd at its shareholder meeting Tuesday in Iowa.
Investors are pushing proposals to rein in Wells Fargo, and activists are organizing protests slamming the bank for countless consumer abuses.
They have a lot to complain about. Over the past year and a half, the bank has admitted to creating fake accounts, hitting customers with unfair mortgage fees and charging people for car insurance they didn't need.
The scandals have prompted changes in leadership and hefty fines.
Here's how it happened.
September 8: Fake-accounts scandal breaks wide open. Federal regulators reveal Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts without their customers knowing it. The bank is hit with a $185 million fine. Wells Fargo says 5,300 employees were fired for related reasons.
September 14: A government official tells CNN the Department of Justice has issued subpoenas in a probe related to the fake account scandal.
September 27: Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf forfeits pay. Stumpf says he will give up much of his 2016 salary, including a bonus and $41 million in stock awards. The first major executive leaves the company over the scandal. Carrie Tolstedt, who headed the division that created the fake accounts, steps down and forfeits some pay.
September 28: Wells Fargo is accused of illegally repossessing service members' cars. The company agrees to pay $24 million to settle charges. The DOJ claims the bank took 413 cars without a court order, which violates federal law. The company apologizes and commits to refunds.
September 29: Wells Fargo promises to abandon unrealistic sales goals. Wells Fargo employees blamed their bosses for effectively encouraging fake accounts. Before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, CEO John Stumpf is accused of running "a criminal enterprise."
October 5: California's attorney general opens an investigation into possible identity fraud related to the fake accounts scandal.
October 12: CEO John Stumpf steps down. The company announces he will retire effective immediately.
November 3: SEC probe revealed. A new public filing from the bank discloses that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the bank for issues related to the creation of as many as 2 million fake accounts.
December 13: Wells Fargo is punished by federal regulators for actions unrelated to the fake accounts. The bank is dinged for failing to comply with certain provisions of Dodd-Frank, the post-2008 law meant to better regulate big banks and protect consumers.
January 23: Wells Fargo acknowledges potential worker retaliation. The bank says there are signs it retaliated against workers who tried to blow the whistle on the fake accounts.
February 20: Four senior bank employees are fired. The employees either worked or used to work in Wells Fargo's community banking division, which is at the center of the fake account scandal.
March 27: Federal agency accuses Wells Fargo of "egregious," "discriminatory and illegal" practices. In an unusual move, a top federal banking regulator severely downgrades Wells Fargo's community lending rating. The decision stems from factors beyond the fake account scandal.