Monthly Archives: July 2018

Kansas Family Has Accounts Frozen by Bank of America After Being Asked About Citizenship Status

A Kansas family said their bank accounts were frozen by Bank of America after officials ask they prove they were American citizens.

Josh Collins, of Roeland Park, received in June a form letter in the mail from Bank of America that asked a series of personal questions, including if he were an American citizen or had dual citizenship with another country, he told The Kansas City Star.

Collins’ wife, Jessica Salazar Collins, threw out the letter after she and her husband wrote it off as “a scam.”

Collins, who had held an account with Bank of America for 20 years, was born in Wichita, Kansas. Salazar Collins was born in Kansas City, Missouri, tracing her

roots back in the U.S. two generations, as her great-grandfather emigrated from Mexico.

Then last Tuesday, the family found they couldn’t access their money.

Read on.

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Woman has her safety deposit box at BofA emptied out. Bank replies: Hey thanks for the update!

ORANGEVALE (CBS13) – A woman says her bank let her safe deposit box vanish. And she’s not the only one.

Susan Nomi says when she went to open her Bank of America safe deposit box of 16 years, the entire box was gone.

That’s where she kept her family’s jewelry and her dad’s coin collection.

“I was in shock; I was just like what happened to my box,” said Nomi.

She says Bank of America can’t explain where her valuables went.

“They don’t have an answer. They don’t have an answer. They say thanks for letting us know,” she says.

Nomi was infuriated, especially considering she is a retired Bank of America employee of 40 years. And she’s not alone. Others have complained that Bank of America drilled their safe deposit boxes without permission or notice.

Wendy Woo says her belongings were taken out of her safe deposit box and shipped to her.

“Everything was dumped in a plastic bag,” said Woo.

Read on.

Even pet insurance is not safe from Wells Fargo’s scandals

Wells Fargo (WFC) has begun refunding customer who were harmed when the bank charged them for products including pet insurance, legal services, home warranties and other forms of insurance, a person familiar with the matter told CNNMoney on Thursday.

An ongoing review at Wells Fargo has found billing and telemarketing problems with so-called “add-on” products that are added to customer accounts, the source said.

Hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers may have been charged for dozens of products they didn’t fully understand, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Read on.

NOMINEE FOR CFPB ADMITS IN HEARING SHE HAS NO BACKGROUND IN CONSUMER PROTECTION OR FINANCIAL REGULATION

What a disaster…

ON THURSDAY, THE Senate Banking Committee heard from Kathy Kraninger, an official at the Office of Management and Budget with no background in financial regulation or consumer protection.

Naturally, she has been nominated to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

During nearly three hours of questioning, Kraninger worked hard to prevent scrutiny of what exactly she did at OMB.

“I am trying to get an answer from you, and I just can’t. And this is maddening,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, reflecting a common refrain from banking committee Democrats. Time and again, Kraninger refused to describe any discussions or meetings she’d participated as the program associate director for general government programs at OMB, stressing the need to respect the “deliberative process” inside government.

“If you can’t even tell us what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis, how can we expect you to be accountable at CFPB?” asked Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

Read on.

Exclusive: Wells Fargo automated high-net-worth wealth management as advisors faced sales pressure

Another scandal…

“Established 1852. Re-established 2018 with a recommitment to you.” That’s the tagline from Wells Fargo’s new advertising campaign, which is designed to move the bank past its huge fake-accounts scandal caused by the immense pressure put on its bankers to sell. Indeed, Wells makes a point of saying that product sales goals are gone — for its branch bankers.

But in the upper echelon of a different division of Wells Fargo — its Wealth and Investment Management division — the intense pressure for sales is alive and well, according to hundreds of pages of internal documents reviewed by Yahoo Finance, and interviews with four former employees in that division. In fact, even as Wells was de-emphasizing sales goals within its community bank, the pressure on its wealth managers was being turned up.

Documents show that within the wealth management part of Wells Fargo’s high-net-worth Private Bank, investment management control was transferred from human advisors to formulaic models — a move that does ensure consistency and reduce the risk that an advisor does something crazy, but one that the former advisors felt was also designed to make advisors focus on sales.

“As a company they emphasized sales to such a point that I felt just like the salesmen in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross,’” said one former advisor, referencing the David Mamet play and 1992 film in which salesmen are given a sell-or-be-fired pitch that leads to a break-in and fraud.

Two former advisors also say they felt they were supposed to hide the shift from clients so the services could continue to be represented as highly personalized advice.

“The firm made it very clear that we could not discuss the fact that we were no longer managing the portfolios,” one former advisor told Yahoo Finance. “That remains one of the biggest ongoing secrets kept from wealth management clients to this day.

Read on.

‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms like Mariner Finance make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans

Tim Geithner, the former U.S. Treasury head, got into the predatory lending business, the same business that he once opposed…

Washington Post:

The check arrived out of the blue, issued in his name for $1,200, a mailing from a consumer finance company. Stephen Huggins eyed it carefully.

A loan, it said. Smaller type said the interest rate would be 33 percent.

Way too high, Huggins thought. He put it aside.

A week later, though, his 2005 Chevy pickup was in the shop, and he didn’t have enough to pay for the repairs. He needed the truck to get to work, to get the kids to school. So Huggins, a 56-year-old heavy equipment operator in Nashville, fished the check out that day in April 2017 and cashed it.

Within a year, the company, Mariner Finance, sued Huggins for $3,221.27. That included the original $1,200, plus an additional $800 a company representative later persuaded him to take, plus hundreds of dollars in processing fees, insurance and other items, plus interest. It didn’t matter that he’d made a few payments already.

……………………………

Mass-mailing checks to strangers might seem like risky business, but Mariner Finance occupies a fertile niche in the U.S. economy. The company enables some of the nation’s wealthiest investors and investment funds to make money offering high-interest loans to cash-strapped Americans.

Mariner Finance is owned and managed by a $11.2 billion private equity fund controlled by Warburg Pincus, a storied New York firm. The president of Warburg Pincus is Timothy F. Geithner, who, as treasury secretary in the Obama administration, condemned predatory lenders. The firm’s co-chief executives, Charles R. Kaye and Joseph P. Landy, are established figures in New York’s financial world. The minimum investment in the fund is $20 million.