Daily Archives: October 7, 2016

Here is the 80-year-old entrepreneur and philanthropist’s news ad berating Wells Fargo

This is the ad that North Texas investor Lacy Harber placed in four major newspapers, calling on congressional finance and banking committees to expand the inquiry of Wells Fargo.

My 2013 ‘Warning’ Letter To Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf

It comes as no surprise to me that employees at Wells Fargo resorted to dishonesty in opening bogus accounts, just to keep their jobs. Why am I not surprised? Because in 2013, after six years of employment, my sister was about to lose her job at Wells Fargo because she could not meet her sales goals. I wrote this letter to CEO John Stumpf, advising him that the intense sales culture was damaging to employees and consumers. I received a startling response. But first, here is that letter:

March 27, 2013

Mr. John Stumpf,
Chairman and CEO
Wells Fargo & Company
420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

Dear Mr. Stumpf:

Knowing how busy you are, I apologize for the length of this letter; but as a long-time customer, I ask that you please grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit back, and take the ten minutes you will need to read this letter through to its end.

I very recently became aware of Wells Fargo’s Vision Statement through a graduate school paper my niece was writing for a course. I was reading it, and here is what stood out:

“Our vision has nothing to do with transactions, pushing products or getting bigger for the sake of bigness. It’s about building lifelong relationships one customer at a time.”

Ironically, my sister, who has worked as a teller for Wachovia/Wells Fargo for almost six years and is terrific with customers, is about to lose her job. This is not due to unprofessional behavior. It is not due to excess absences. It is not due to transactional errors. It is not due to lack of excellent customer service. What it is due to is her failure to continue to meet sales goals through pushing products.

 

Read on.

After Congressional Grilling, Wells Fargo Is Berated in Newspaper Ads

Former bank tellers and angry customers. Democrats and Republicans in Congress. State treasurers in California and Illinois. Even Hillary Clinton. They have all lambasted Wells Fargo in recent weeks over the phony accounts scandal.

Now, a wealthy 80-year-old businessman and philanthropist from Texas is taking aim at the besieged bank.

Lacy Harber, who owns real estate in Las Vegas and numerous small banks and marinas, took out advertisements in four large newspapers on Thursday — including The New York Times — denouncing Wells Fargo.

Mr. Harber’s ad describes itself as an “open letter to the Senate Banking Committee, House Financial Services Committee, Wells Fargo board of directors and the American public.”

It goes on to assert: “The recent disclosures about Wells Fargo are only the tip of the iceberg.”

In an interview, Mr. Harber said his complaint with Wells Fargo centers on its investment brokers. He said that on Aug. 24, 2015, as the stock market dropped precipitously, he placed orders for about $34.8 million worth of stocks through his brokers at Wells Fargo Advisors.

Working from his kitchen counter at home in North Texas, Mr. Harber said he went on the buying spree to take advantage of the dropping prices, snapping up shares of blue chip companies like Apple and Exxon Mobil.

Like many active investors, Mr. Harber bought the stocks “on margin” which typically means putting down some money and borrowing the rest from the broker. But given the extreme volatility in the market that morning, Wells Fargo, he said, demanded that he pay for the stocks in full.

Mr. Harber said that even though he told Wells he could wire $19 million that day and deliver the balance the next day, the bank said it needed the total amount.

At the end of that day, he said, Wells sold all of the shares he had bought that day, resulting in a $5 million loss. Adding insult to injury, he said, he was charged about $480,000 in broker fees.

Read on.

Payday Loan Group Slapped With Record $1.3B Fine for 700 Percent Lending Rates

A federal judge in Nevada said professional racecar driver Scott Tucker and several of his companies owe $1.27 billion to the Federal Trade Commission after systematically deceiving payday lending customers about the cost of their loans.

In one example, lending documents indicated that a customer who borrowed $500 would only have a finance charge of $150, for a total payment of $650 — but the actual finance charge was $1,425.

In a decision late on Friday, Chief Judge Gloria Navarro of the federal court in Las Vegas, Nevada said Tucker was “specifically aware” that customers often did not understand the terms of their loans, and was at least “recklessly indifferent” toward how those loans were marketed.

“Scott Tucker did not participate in an isolated, discrete incident of deceptive lending, but engaged in sustained and continuous conduct that perpetuated the deceptive lending since at least 2008,” Navarro wrote.

Read on.

Snowden: Hero, Whistleblower or Traitor? Make Up Your Own Mind!

Edward Snowden, the NSA consultant and analyst who blew the whistle on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance of domestic phone calls and emails of American citizens is the subject of a current film, Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone.
It is a thought provoking film, an emotional one that pushes buttons and forces you to ask, is Snowden a hero and whistleblower or a traitor who put his country in danger by divulging confidential government information? A recent House intelligence report, released two days before the movie premiered, labels him “a serial exaggerator and fabricator” who does not fit the profile of whistleblower. Yet, my attorneys and his, the Government Accountability Project, say whistleblower.
In  the spring of 2013, Snowden reached out to Glenn Greenwald, a fierce government critic and controversial journalist, co-founder of the Intercept Papers; filmmaker journalist Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian. The foursome spent several very intense days in a hotel room in Hong Kong filming Snowden’s testimony and story which resulted in The Guardian exposé of the NSA situation; even as James R. Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence claimed in sworn testimony before a United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on March 12, 2013, that the NSA would never do such a thing.
At that hearing, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked Mr. Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Director Clapper responded “No, sir.”
Regards,
Richard