Is Your Bank Account Safe? Financial Institutions’ Bad Faith Malpractice

Source: Paul Hoppe at N.Y. Times

By Claire Chung

Download full noteĀ here.

This Note argues that a poisonous culture in the banking industry, to indiscriminately profit by cutting legal and ethical corners, led to the Wells Fargo scandal in 2016. Wells Fargo had wrongfully profited by incentivizing its employees to meet sales quotas by creating phony accounts using confidential customer information without consent. Although the employees acted alone, liability lies on the employer, Wells Fargo, under the theory of respondeat superior. In doing so, Wells Fargo violated unfair and deceptive financial practices law. Also the scandal raised the issue of whether the mandatory arbitration clause in a financial product purchase agreement should be enforced against consumers or not. This Note proposes a multifaceted solution to address the pandemic of bad faith banking practices.

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