LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Wells Fargo Bank has previously been accused of opening two million checking and credit accounts for customers without their knowledge so the clients could be charged higher monthly fees.
Tonight, there is a new controversy involving the banking giant.
The bank admitted that it overcharged 800,000 people with car loans through the bank.
They apparently forced those customers to pay for collision damage on their loans for years. Many weren’t told about the fee. And people who had their own insurance for collision and who tried to fight back were told they had to pay it anyway.
According to the bank’s own investigation into the mess, customers were billed around $1,000 a year for the insurance.
Nearly 275,000 customers became delinquent on their loans after being overcharged each month.
The bank repossessed 25,000 cars from customers for being late with payments.
“This is really infuriating,” says Rosemary Shahan of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, “and there is no excuse for this. This is a company that’s acting like a rogue company. They just seem to think they are above the law. And they can ignore the law and they don’t care how many people’s lives they ruin.”
She added, “It ruins their credit, it ruin their lives. And a lot of times when cars are repossessed that is people’s only way to get to work. If you’re in the military it can also mean that you will lose your security clearance which ruins your career And it also means we as a nation lose very highly-trained security personnel that we can’t afford not to have doing their job.”
Wells Fargo issued a statement:
“We take full responsibility for these errors and are deeply sorry for any harm we caused our customers.”
The bank also says it will offer refunds to customers.