“Wells Fargo has its hat on backwards, and I’m not the only one who thinks so,” writes Jeff Goodson in a column for American Thinker.
Goodson believes Wells Fargo’s decision last year to cut ties with Alaskan Iditarod indicates how the bank has ultimately “lost its soul”:
The last eighteen months have been cataclysmic for the bank. In late 2016, after opening millions of fake customer accounts, it was fined $100 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and another $85 million by other government entities. In 2017, it admitted to charging over 800,000 customers for unwanted auto insurance, on top of which it agreed to pay $108 million for charging hidden mortgage fees to American veterans. New York City cut ties with the bank in May 2017, and in February 2018 – in “one of the strongest federal rebukes to a big bank since the 2007 financial crisis” – the Federal Reserve Board restricted the bank’s growth and replaced four of its board members.
All of this can be chalked up to weak corporate character and bad corporate governance. But quitting The Last Great Race transcended that. When it pulled its support for the Iditarod in May 2017, Wells Fargo lost its soul. Incredibly, it said it had dropped the Iditarod to “build and enhance relationships with customers and the broader community.” A Wells Fargo banker confirmed that, telling me at the time that it was because of customer base values.
Wells Fargo, as Goodson relates, is the eleventh most hated American company due mostly to public relations fallout from 2016’s scandal involving the fraudulent creation of accounts without customers’ permission. But, not surprisingly, caving to leftist groups like PETA and supporting the left’s agenda on multiple issues has done nothing to improve the bank’s public perception with consumers.