Apparently Wells Fargo isn’t content to tarnish its own reputation—it has the gall to try to hide behind the sterling reputation of the nation’s community banks. Testifying recently about the megabank’s phony-accounts scandal, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan cited improvements to the institution’s “Community Bank.”
Pardon me? In case you forgot, that’s what the $2 trillion-asset bank calls its massive retail banking arm, which perpetrated the fraud of roughly 3.5 million customers. But it’s not fooling anyone. The Senate Banking Committee members grilling Sloan know darn well what community banks are and that they don’t set up unwanted bank accounts for unwitting customers.
This isn’t the only time Wells Fargo has tried to impersonate community banks. Let’s not forget its national advertising campaign claiming to be the world’s “largest community bank.” Oh please.
Wells Fargo has spent the year since the accounts scandal broke facing allegations that it violated service member protections, overcharged for home appraisals, discriminated against its own employees, falsified mortgage records and forced unneeded auto insurance on some 800,000 customers. Cowering behind the good name of actual, bona fide community banks isn’t going to cut it.
Lest there be any confusion, I invite all Americans to see for themselves what a real community bank looks like. ICBA’s Community Bank Locator
makes it easy for everyone to find a community bank in their neighborhood and experience local banking firsthand.
Community banks are locally based financial institutions whose relationship-based business model incentivizes them to put their customers first. Community banks reinvest in their communities, they are outsized small-business lenders—and they don’t try to convince you they’re something they’re not.
to find a community bank and see the difference for yourself.