Wells Fargo has agreed to pay a staggering $1 billion to settle a suit brought forward by its shareholders over the bank’s unauthorized customer accounts scandal from 2016. If approved, this will be one of the top 20 largest class-action settlements in history.

The lawsuit accused Wells Fargo’s executives of publicly exaggerating their progress in resolving the governance issues and risk-management systems while downplaying a market value decrease of $54 billion between 2020 and 2022. The shareholders claim that the company’s failure to comply with consent orders resulted in a sudden drop of 34% in the bank’s stock in a little over a week. The House Financial Services Committee released a report on the bank’s scandals in March 2020, which further added to the company’s reputational and financial damage.

Despite facing numerous fines and settlements, Wells Fargo continues to be in the headlines, including paying $300 million in February 2022 for improperly charging customers for auto insurance and $3.7 billion in December 2021 to resolve US investigations into consumer abuses. In addition, a former executive who oversaw the fake account scheme pleaded guilty.

While the proposed settlement is a significant step forward for the beleaguered bank, it is clear that the problems of Wells Fargo go further than this measly sum. The company must look inward and address its operational deficiencies and flaws in management, restoring trust in its stakeholders and the public at large.

By Grady Owen

After training a pack of Raptors on Isla Nublar, Owen Grady changed his name and decided to take a job as an entertainment writer. Now armed with a computer and the internet, Grady Owen is prepared to deliver the best coverage in movies, TV, and music for you.