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Journal of Information Systems Education

Authors

Paul D. Witman

Abstract

Wells Fargo & Co.’s Community Banking unit had enjoyed a strong positive reputation for decades. Wells Fargo as a whole had avoided mostof the problems of the 2008 financial crisis, only to stumble into its own crisis in late 2016. The Community Banking unit was accused of opening millions of unauthorized accounts, firing employees for violating policy without addressing the root causes of those violations, and failing to detect and prevent these sorts of issues before they became widespread. Impact on consumers was widely varied, from new checking accounts that sometimes caused no significant impact, to new credit accounts that generated fees and caused negative impacts on consumer credit scores. How did the bank’s approach to information management contribute to this problem? What could the bankhave done differently to have detected, responded to, and prevented future instances of improper account opening? What does the bank need to do going forward to prevent future problems and regain customer trust?

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