Daily Archives: January 25, 2017

At Wells Fargo, Bank Branches Were Tipped Off to Inspections

Wells Fargo will eliminate its policy of notifying branches a day in advance before they are visited by internal inspectors, a bank spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The decision comes after the Wall Street Journal reported on the advance notice, describing how it gave employees time to cover up problematic sales practices by shredding documents and forging signatures.

Mary Eshet, a spokeswoman for the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, confirmed that Wells Fargo will halt the practice.

“To the extent the 24 hour notice could be an issue or be perceived as an issue, we want to take that off the table,” she wrote via email.

Read on.

Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 surge after Kellyanne Conway’s ‘alternative facts

winston-writes

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
George Orwell, 1984

Sales of George Orwell’s dystopian drama 1984 have soared after Kellyanne Conway, adviser to the reality-TV-star-turned-president, Donald Trump, used the phrase “alternative facts” in an interview. As of Tuesday, the book was the sixth best-selling book on Amazon.

Comparisons were made with the term “newspeak” used in the 1949 novel, which was used to signal a fictional language that aims at eliminating personal thought and also “doublethink”. In the book Orwell writes that it “means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them”.

Read on.

FEDERAL WORKERS MUZZLED UNDER TRUMP

“Big Brother is Watching You.”
George Orwell, 1984

WASHINGTON ― Multiple federal agencies have told their employees to cease communications with members of Congress and the press, sources have told The Huffington Post.

The freeze has startled aides on the Hill and people at those agencies, who worry that it could abruptly upend current operations and stifle work and discussions that routinely take place between branches of government.

Officials at sub-agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services, for example, have been told not to send “any correspondence to public officials” according to a memo shared with HuffPost. Instead, they have been asked to refer questions to agency leadership until the leadership has had time to meet with incoming White House staff about the new administration’s policies and objectives, according to a congressional official who was also informed of the communications freeze.

An official with the National Institutes of Health told HuffPost that an email had been sent to the directors of NIH institutes and centers providing guidance from HHS on how to handle new or pending regulation, policy or guidance.

“The HHS guidance instructs HHS Operating Divisions to hold on publishing new rules or guidance in the Federal Register or other public forums and discussing them with public officials until the Administration has had an opportunity to review them,” the official said.

It’s unclear how wide the freeze goes, however, as an official close to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that agency was unaware of any such freeze.

Read on.

Wells Fargo customers to receive $50 million for overcharged mortgage fees

Borrowers who had a mortgage serviced by Wells Fargo between May 6, 2005 and July 1, 2010 could soon receive their share of a $50 million settlement, which stemmed from charges that Wells Fargo overcharged borrowers for Broker’s Price Opinions during the time period in question.

The settlement, which was initially announced in October, stems from a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo.

The plaintiffs argued that Wells Fargo violated the law by charging borrowers more than the amount Wells Fargo paid for Broker’s Price Opinions. The lawsuit stated that Wells Fargo charged certain borrowers between $95 and $125 for the BPOs, instead of the typical cost of $50 or less.

Read on.