The original Wells Fargo’s statement regarding the action by protesters during Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s speech in Carlsbad, CA on March 14th, 2013:
Vickee Adams, a Wells Fargo spokesperson, wrote in an e-mailed statement to The Huffington Post that while the bank respects individuals’ rights to express their opinions, the protest was unproductive.
“We are very disappointed in the actions protesters took at the Retail Banking Conference today that disrupted John Stumpf's presentation and the entire conference,” Adams wrote. “This type of behavior damages efforts for productive dialogue and opportunities to work together to reach solutions.”
We are very disappointed in the distinct lack of action bank Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has demonstrated to correct the injustice that has thrown millions of families from their homes. These millions of families trusted lending institutions to abide by 400 years of property law when they signed loan agreements. They did not think for a minute that they were signing up to be marks in a quadrillion dollar Ponzi scheme and insurance fraud that has overstated the value of investments to pension funds and other investors all around the world.
The trust of ordinary people was used against them to steal their life's savings and their homes. Bank employees of Wells Fargo told families to default on their mortgage payments "in order to qualify" for loan modifications, then used that default to foreclose on their homes. This dual tracking—now illegal in California—is just one of the rampant injustices that allowed Wells Fargo to reap billions in profits under Stumpf's watch.
Fraud is a business model of Wells Fargo and the other too-big-to-jail banks, yet they have so far managed to bully and buy their way out of prison. On top of the secret settlements made by the FDIC to hide bank wrongdoing, Senator Elizabeth Warren's now famous pointed question to the OCC, the SEC and other bank regulators, "When was the last time you took any financial institution to trial?" shows that our government is not even willing to take these oversized financial behemoths to face a jury or judge.
We are certain that Senator Warren would agree, we all know the only ones breaking any laws here are the banks, and we don't see any police breaking down the CEOs doors in the middle of the night. On the contrary, John Stumpf has pocketed the fattest paycheck of any bank CEO—racking up $22.9 million from the stolen homes of people like Betty Badro, the homeowner who confronted him. As Senator Warren says, when banks can pay measly settlements out of enormous profits, "They don't have much incentive to follow the law." Until such time that we have a government willing to take the banks to trial and put the wrongdoers in jail, bank CEOs should expect to continue to hear from the people they have defrauded.