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Updated: 10:57 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 | Posted: 10:46 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

Wells Fargo loses Better Business Bureau accreditation

Wells Fargo bank
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: A Wells Fargo sign is seen on the exterior of one of their bank branches on September 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Reports indicate that more than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees have been fired as a result of a scandal involving employees that secretly set up new fake bank and credit card accounts in order to meet sales targets. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By WSOC-TV - Charlotte

Wells Fargo has lost accreditation by the Better Business Bureau.

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The company admitted last month that employees opened unauthorized accounts in customers' names to meet sales goals. The federal government fined the bank $185 million.

The BBB cited the government action against the business as the reason for dropping the bank's rating to a C-minus, which falls below the standards for accreditation.

The BBB also said it's up to customers to decide whether they want to stay with the company.

"We're not telling customers, 'Don't do business with them.' We're not telling you, 'Do business with them.' We're just laying out the facts," said Tom Bartholomy, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont, which serves 20 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina. "Here's a company now that's a C-minus rating, they have six government actions against them, and what's your comfort level?"

The BBB said just about every major bank has had government actions taken against them, but none like this.

Wells Fargo can attempt to regain accreditation in three years.

Wells Fargo released the following statement:

"We will continue to work hard to restore our customers' trust and are focused on providing the best service to our customers. Our No. 1 priority is making things right with our customers and restoring public trust, and we are dedicated to ensuring that all aspects of the company's business are conducted with integrity, transparency and oversight.

"We have already taken important steps, and will continue to do so, to ensure that the sales culture in our retail banking business is 100 percent aligned with our customers' interests, including ending product sales goals for everyone in the retail banking business to make certain nothing gets in the way of doing what’s right for customers."

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